Five candidates running in California Attorney General primary

Five candidates are running in a top-two primary for California Attorney General on June 7, 2022. Incumbent Rob Bonta (D), Nathan Hochman (R), and Anne Marie Schubert (I) have led in media attention and fundraising. Eric Early (R) and Daniel Kapelovitz (G) are also running in the primary election.

The Los Angeles Times’ Hannah Wiley wrote, “The most contentious and closely watched California election in 2022 is likely to be the race for attorney general, where voters will choose in June from the liberal incumbent who was appointed to the job last year, three unheralded challengers and an openly gay career prosecutor whose campaign could hinge on the public’s new fears about crime.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) appointed Bonta on March 24, 2021. Bonta is a former Democratic member of the California General Assembly, representing District 18 from 2012 until his appointment. Bonta’s campaign website said. “As California’s Attorney General and California’s chief law officer, Bonta is the ‘attorney for the people’ and holds those who break the law – especially those in positions of power – accountable and wins justice for California families.”

Hochman served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California and Assistant Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice. Hochman also worked as a defense attorney, civil litigator, and appellate counsel. Hochman said his “360-degree perspective allows me to be in the best position to evaluate those who constitute true public safety threats and must be incarcerated from those who don’t pose such threats and can serve their debt to society through, for example, community service.”

Schubert worked as Sacramento County District Attorney, Supervising Deputy District Attorney of the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office, and Deputy District Attorney of Contra Costa and Solano Counties. “As a real prosecutor and California’s next attorney general, I will have the constitutional authority to step in when a local district attorney isn’t doing his or her job. I believe we must stand up for crime victims and return order to the justice system,” Schubert said.

Democrats have occupied the office of attorney general in California since 1999. Xavier Becerra (D) occupied the office before Bonta, serving from 2019 to 2021 when he was confirmed as U.S. secretary of health and human services.