One of the oddest stories about the forthcoming elections so far is that no credible Republican candidate has yet emerged to run for Attorney General. Sure, there are other statewide races in which a Republican has yet to step forward, and yes, Kamala Harris, the current AG is a Democratic incumbent in a heavily Democratic state, but if any statewide office might lean Republican in the public’s mind it would be the office of Attorney General.
As the chief law enforcement officer of the state, the Attorney General is all about law and order, typically a strong Republican issue. Harris has been attacked in the past on some of her positions dealing with law and order, especially her record as District Attorney of San Francisco.
Yet, no apparent challenger has emerged to take on the race that she barley won in 2010. Harris won the office by a thimble full of votes, 74,453 out of 8,811,687, or eight-tenths of one percent over Republican Steve Cooley who most insiders argued ran a poor race.
One advantage a strong Republican candidate might have in making a run is that Republican donors are looking to support a possible winner in a high profile office. Despite gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari’s successful two weeks of fundraising, in which he reportedly banked $1-million, a number of Republican insiders see a race against Jerry Brown for governor as a futile exercise. Pouring financial support behind a candidate for Attorney General, a typical launching pad for the governor’s office, would be a calculated investment for these donors.
But the donors can’t give when there is no candidate.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Harris is scooping up endorsements from police related organizations that she did not get in her first run for the job making any challenge more difficult as time goes on.
If a solid Republican candidate for the AG’s job is thinking about making a challenge, he or she is letting the opportunity slip away.