Calif. teachers' union backs Harris for attorney general

Chris Rizo Jan. 15, 2010, 11:00am

Kamala Harris (D)

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline)' California's second-largest teachers' union is throwing its political muscle behind San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris's bid to be the state's next attorney general.

The California Federation of Teachers, which represents 120,000 faculty members and other school employees, has endorsed Harris in her bid to succeed fellow Democrat Jerry Brown as the Golden State's chief legal officer.

The Harris campaign made the announcement Thursday in a statement. The attorney general post is considered an open seat since Brown is so widely expected to run for governor this year.

In her statement, Harris touted her citywide anti-truancy effort as well as her office's increased efforts to fight crime.

"There is a direct connection between public safety and public education, and I believe that California's Attorney General can use her office to keep our streets safe by injecting innovative ideas into our justice system," Harris said.

Harris has also been endorsed by former California Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, a Democrat.

Widely considered a rising star in Democratic politics, Harris was an early supporter of Barack Obama's campaign for president. She was with Obama, then a U.S. senator, when he announced his campaign for president.

Today, she is one among a crowded field of Democrats running for their party's nomination for attorney general.

In addition to Harris, running for the powerful post is: Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico of Newark, Assemblyman Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara, Assemblyman Ted Lieu of Torrance, former Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo and Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer for the Web site Facebook.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Tom Harman of Huntington Beach, is the only declared candidate. He could be joined in the race by Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley and the dean of Chapman Law School, John Eastman, who are both seriously considering runs for the office.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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