The race for California’s top cop focuses on abortion, gun control and crime
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, left, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shake hands after a ceremony at LAPD headquarters in Los Angeles, California, on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2018. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is seeking mayoralty in the runoff election against former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck in November’s general election. The candidates were trying to use their rivalries to boost turnout in their races. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — On a sunny Wednesday at the LAPD headquarters a few blocks from the Golden Gate Bridge, Mayor Ed Lee was eager to tell the media who he’d rather be: a politician or a police officer.
“Well, actually, I don’t know, mayor,” Lee said wryly, before taking a swig of ice water. “But I’d like to be both.”
But, he said, being mayor isn’t quite as good as being a police officer. When he gets back to his office later that day, we’ll talk again.
The race for California’s top law enforcement job is turning into another clash over the role of cops in a changing society. And in Los Angeles, where Mayor Eric Garcetti has embraced guns and police video footage to boost turnout in his runoff election against former Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, Lee is trying to cast himself as the antithesis of his challenger.
During the campaign, they have put aside their differences to attack one another on topics ranging from immigration to sexual assault, from illegal immigration to sanctuary cities to gun violence. If he wins, Lee will be taking the reins of a department where police departments routinely spend more than $2 billion each year — far more than any other major city in the country — on guns, overtime, equipment and training