Interview with Raphe Sonenshein on LA Sheriff, Supervisors’ Race

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Sheriff’s Race

For the time since 1998, the role of LA County Sheriff in is question as voters go to the polls on June 3rd. The Sheriff’s department is under scrutiny following scandals involving favoritism in hiring, obstruction of justice, and abuse of prisoners in County jails.

Raphe Sonenshein joined Warren to discuss how voters will have to decide who would be the best candidate to clean up a troubled department.

“The real question is, should it be an outsider or an insider, and if an insider, which insider would be best at fixing this very troubled department?” says Sonenshein.

The leading outsider is Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell, but those vying from the inside are more troubled. While Paul Tanaka has the most name recognition, and can argue that he knows how to fix the department from the inside, he is often tied to the problems that have plagued the Sheriff’s office.

Assistant Sheriffs Todd Rogers and James Hellmold were Sheriff Lee Baca’s favorite deputies, and he has endorsed both candidates, but that may work against them in the primary election. According to Sonenshein, it’s very unclear who will dominate this election.

Here’s a full list of the candidates:

Supervisors Race

Sonenshein also weighed in on who will replace Zev Yaroslavsky in the County Supervisor’s office, after he steps down after 19 years. It is hard to challenge an incumbent in the County Board of Supervisor’s race, says Sonenshein, so this is a great opportunity for voters to figure out what is going on in the office.

Two major Santa Monica figures, Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver, and one from West Hollywood, John Duran, are at the head of the pack to replace Yaroslavsky.

“Some of the debate will be about who is the most progressive, pro-labor democrat, and who is, perhaps a little more skeptical of county employees at budget time,” says Sonenshein.

Another factor that might play into the supervisors race is party affiliations. Sonenshein notes that the Republican vote is diminishing, and more Democrats are candidates for top spots. But if a Democrat can gather some support from the right, like Mayor Eric Garcetti did, it could swing the results of the election.

More: Listen to the candidates debate on Which Way, LA?