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Cooley rakes in law enforcement endorsements

August 10, 2010 |  3:30 pm

One of the state's largest law enforcement groups, which has a long track record of backing Democratic candidates, announced Tuesday it was supporting Republican Steve Cooley's campaign for attorney general.

The Peace Officers Research Assn. of California announced Tuesday it was backing Cooley over San Francisco Dist. Atty. Kamala Harris, the Democratic nominee.

The endorsement underscores some of the problems Harris appears to have with law enforcement organizations -- even those typically supportive of Democratic candidates. With the exception of Cooley, the peace officers group has endorsed the entire Democratic slate of statewide candidates, including gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

Also Tuesday, Cooley announced he had received the backing of the California Coalition of Law Enforcement Associations, which represents more than 80,000 law enforcement officers statewide.

"Kamala Harris' extreme record on public safety issues has earned her the animosity of all levels of law enforcement," said Cooley campaign spokesman Kevin Spillane. "Her record contrasts with Steve Cooley, who spent five years obtaining the extradition of a cop killer from Mexico, the killer of Deputy Sheriff David March. He is now serving life in prison without possibility of parole."

Harris' campaign manager Brian Brokaw said Harris has her share of law enforcement supporters.

"Kamala Harris is endorsed by some of California's most respected law enforcement leaders, including former LAPD Chief Bill Bratton, and the chiefs of police in San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland, along with other chiefs and sheriffs around the state," he said. "She's proud to be supported by the California Professional Firefighters, as well as a dozen district attorneys from around the state who serve with and know both candidates well, and they're supporting Kamala Harris."

-- Anthony York

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