It was just less than four years ago that Kamala Harris was sworn in as the California's first elected female attorney general. Now, she is running for re-election and we think voters should give her that privilege.
While we have not always agreed with Harris, she demonstrates an energy for what, done properly, is a very demanding job. She has been engaged, visible and accessible.
In this year's race the tables are turned somewhat from 2010. That year Harris was the upstart district attorney from San Francisco running against the more seasoned Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley. While Cooley had more of a reputation as a tough prosecutor, Harris convinced enough voters that she was part of a new era in Sacramento to pull off what was considered a mild upset.
She hit the ground running and hasn't slowed much since.
This year it is Harris who must fend off an underdog. She is challenged by Ron Gold, an experienced attorney who was once a deputy attorney general but who is a relative political novice, especially as a statewide candidate.
Gold is a Republican in affiliation, but he does not exactly embody all the ideals of the California Republican Party hierarchy. Gold told us that about two-thirds of his closest advisers are Democrats and he jokes that one of them told him that after his second-place finish in the June primary that "the party is stuck with you now."
Gold, for instance, is a strong advocate for legalizing marijuana for recreational use, as has been done in Washington and Colorado.
Harris takes a more measured approach on the issue. She acknowledges legalizing the drug would create substantial revenues, but that it likely would also spawn a variety of unintended consequences. Harris believes California would be wise to closely monitor and learn from the experiences in Colorado and Washington before it decides to insert itself into the recreational marijuana landscape.
One of Harris' overriding campaign issues is her effort to get several bills though the Legislature dealing with truancy. Her experience in San Francisco taught her that truancy legislation is a significant crime-fighting tool.
We agree wholeheartedly. But we couldn't help but wonder why it has taken her four years to advance it. She says committees had to be formed and reports written to ensure buy-in.
Nonetheless, we believe her focus on truancy now is warranted and should be productive.
There are those, including her opponent, who insist Harris wants to run for governor in four years. While it is hard to see her winning, disqualifying a politician for being ambitious would leave our ballots blank.
We believe Harris has earned a second term.