Republican senator announces run for Calif. AG

Chris Rizo Jun. 5, 2009, 2:00am

Tom Harman (R)

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-The first Republican has thrown his hat into the 2010 race to be California's next attorney general.

On Thursday, state Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, announced his candidacy on Internet social networking Web sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

"I believe in limited government and personal responsibility and, as attorney general, I'll work to promote justice, protect individual liberty, and provide for the safety and security of all of our citizens," Harman said in a statement posted on his campaign Web site.

If elected in 2010, Harman, 68, would succeed Democratic Attorney General Jerry Brown as the state's chief legal officer. Brown, 71, is widely expected to run for governor.

Harman has criticized Brown for his opposition to Proposition 8, the state's gay marriage ban, and for his enforcement of the state's carbon emission standards enacted by the Democratic-led state Legislature.

"I'm running because I believe our families and those sworn to defend us, deserve better than what we have had in recent years," Harman said. "It's time to restore dignity to the attorney general's office by ending the political posturing and, instead, focusing on protecting California's people, her laws and her resources."

Former state lawmaker Chuck Poochigian is considering a bid for the GOP nomination for attorney general.

Running on the Democratic side is: state Assemblymen Ted Lieu of Torrance and Pedro Nava of Santa Barbara, Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico of Newark, Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and Chris Kelly, chief privacy officer for the Web site Facebook.

Harman, an attorney, has drawn praise from California's leading tort reform group, the industry-sponsored Civil Justice Association of California.

In 2007, the group gave Harman its Civil Justice Leadership Award for authoring legislation aimed at limiting punitive damage awards.

More recently, Harman introduced a bill that would allow state judges to withhold part of the plaintiff's attorney fees in class action cases until all class members have received their portion of the settlement.

The proposal, introduced in the 2007-09 legislative session, was Senate Bill 1202.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at

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