By Jeff Horseman, The Press-Enterprise
Posted: 11/14/16 – 3:44 PM PST |
San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos said Monday that he’s interested in being appointed to serve the remainder of Kamala Harris’ term as California attorney general now that she’s been elected to the U.S. Senate.
Ramos announced his intention two years ago to run for attorney general in 2018, when Harris’ term expires. But now that she’s a senator-elect, Gov. Jerry Brown will have to appoint a replacement with approval from a majority of the Assembly and state Senate.
Harris beat fellow Democrat and Orange County Rep. Loretta Sanchez last week for the right to succeed the retiring Barbara Boxer.
While Ramos, 59, is eager to get a head start on the job, his appointment is unlikely because he’s a Republican in a state controlled by Democrats. Ramos also opposed Prop. 57, the criminal justice reform measure championed by Brown and approved by voters last week.
If appointed, Ramos would be the only Republican to hold statewide office in California.
“I think I’m prepared to take over and move into the attorney general’s office now, but I’m also a realist,” Ramos said in a telephone interview. “But I’m not saying it’s not possible (I’ll get the appointment).”
When Harris announced her Senate campaign in January 2015, Ramos said he called the governor to express his interest in being appointed to serve out her attorney-general term if she won. Brown said he was the first to express interest, Ramos said.
Ramos, who was elected DA in 2002, touted his experience, including as president-elect of the National District Attorney Association. He said he’d reconsider running for the office if Brown appoints someone Ramos respects and thinks is qualified.
“If not, I’m all in,” said Ramos, who already is raising money for a 2018 campaign.
Others who have been rumored to be potential appointees include Nancy McFadden, who works in the governor’s office and is a top adviser to Brown; Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley; and the governor’s wife, Anne Gust Brown, although the governor was quoted in published reports as saying his wife “is fully employed.”
Harris officially becomes a U.S. senator in January.