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Statewide police group endorses two in L.A. County D.A. race

April 17, 2012 |  9:42 am

The state's largest law enforcement group has weighed in on the election for Los Angeles County district attorney, giving a boost to the campaigns of Alan Jackson and Jackie Lacey in an unusual joint endorsement.

Officials with the Peace Officers Research Assn. of California were divided in their support for the two candidates but decided to endorse both rather than stay on the sidelines, said Marshall McClain, director of the association's Los Angeles-South chapter.

He said the coalition of unions, which represents more than 60,000 law enforcement officers in the state, is likely to spend money to support the two candidates. The association made its decision, he said, after hosting a candidate debate last month at which City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, who is also running for district attorney, declined to appear.

"This is more of a testament to there being no other option than these two," McClain said. "Trutanich isn't even a factor as far as we look at it."

Trutanich has raised more than $1 million so far, amassing a campaign war chest that dwarfs that of his rivals, and boasts endorsements from Sheriff Lee Baca and state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, among others. His campaign did not return a call for comment.

Lacey is chief deputy district attorney, holding the No. 2 position in the office. Jackson is the assistant head of the district attorney's major-crimes division.

McClain said some labor groups within the association backed Lacey out of loyalty to her boss, Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who has endorsed her, while others were impressed with Jackson's career as a prosecutor, including his conviction of music producer Phil Spector for murder.

The group's announcement is the latest in a flurry of endorsements as the June 5 primary nears. Last week, Deputy Dist. Atty. Danette Meyers announced that she had the backing of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, while Trutanich unveiled the endorsement of Mario Trujillo, a former contender in the race who heads the D.A. office's Bellflower branch.

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-- Jack Leonard

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