Elections are like trains or buses. There is always another one coming. And it looks like the 2010 election cycle is already heating up. The election on May 19th should give us a good indication of what we might expect next year. Looking at the voter’s mood as of today the letter next to a candidate’s name that will be the scarlet letter is not “D” or “R”, but “I” for incumbent.

But most of the 2010 talk has been about who will be the candidates for governor. However, with apologies to Lt. Governor Garamendi, the second most important constitutional office is that of Attorney General. Other than the occasional news story saying that San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris and maybe LA City Attorney Ricky Delgadillo, both Democrats are looking at the race, we haven’t heard much about what Republicans are up to.

It has come to my attention that a number of prominent law enforcement officials from across the state have been encouraging former naval aviator and current U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California Tom O’Brien to run for Attorney General.

Who is Tom O’Brien? How could an unknown win a statewide election?

The same way he got to where he is today. Dedication, hard work, perseverance and shoe leather.

I have done a little research on Tom and he is exactly the kind of fresh face that California needs right now. Year after year we see the same old names and faces playing musical chairs and running for different offices or termed out officials who are just looking for their next job whether they have the expertise to do the job or not.

I for one and I’ll bet many Californians think it is time for some new blood. Look where the incumbents have taken us.

But it is more than a fresh face. We need an Attorney General who understands that the number one job is not to sue every business interest in the state to further partisan political goals. No, the number one job of the office is to protect the people of California from those who chose to live their lives outside the law.

O’Brien has built his reputation in the law enforcement community by dramatically increasing prosecutions across the board from human trafficking, to cybercrimes to white collar fraud. In recognition of his work O’Brien received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service – the highest award given by the Attorney General – for his role in investigating and prosecuting street gang members who committed hate-crime murders of African-Americans in Northeast Los Angeles.

And in a practice that is highly unusual for U.S. Attorneys, Tom has tried 65 cases himself ranging from gang murders to narcotics trafficking. He not only talks the talk he walks the walk. He is what we would call in the Old West a “lawman” who lives and works by a simple code. If you break the law, we will find you and you will be punished.

I had the opportunity to speak with Tom Layton, one of O’Brien’s biggest supporters. Being a retired Deputy Sheriff and narcotics officer for Los Angeles County, he knows a little something about crime fighting and what it takes to go after the bad guys.

Tom told me, “Law enforcement is about protecting people, enabling parents and their kids to feel safe in their community”. He went on to say, “There are a lot of people that are safer today because of the work Tom has done. That is why so many people are encouraging him to run. It has been a long time since we really had someone who understood the position and has the record to back it up. Tom does.”

I have not yet met Tom O’Brien and all I have learned so far is from people who do know him. They are folks whose opinions I trust and I can tell by their level of enthusiasm he is the man for the job.

And since I like to use old cowboy sayings and have an affinity for Old West history, here’s a credo that I think fits Tom O’Brien. It is the credo of the Texas Rangers.

“No man who is in the wrong can stand up to a man who is in the right and who just keeps-a-comin’”.