Brown taps Be­cerra to re­place Har­ris as Cal­i­for­nia AG

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY AN­DREA NOBLE

Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday nom­i­nated Rep. Xavier Be­cerra as the state’s new at­tor­ney gen­eral, the po­si­tion out­go­ing pros­e­cu­tor Ka­mala Har­ris will soon va­cate as a re­sult of her elec­tion to the U.S. Se­nate.

Mr. Be­cerra, a Demo­crat, was first elected to the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 1992 and cur­rently serves as the House Demo­cratic Cau­cus chair­man.

Be­fore his elec­tion to Congress, the 58-year-old rep­re­sented the Los An­ge­les area in the Cal­i­for­nia State Assem­bly. He also has some prior ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice, hav­ing worked as a deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral in the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Jus­tice from 1987 to 1990.

“Xavier has been an out­stand­ing pub­lic ser­vant — in the State Leg­is­la­ture, the U.S. Congress and as a deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral,” Mr. Brown said Thursday in an­nounc­ing the nom­i­na­tion. “I’m con­fi­dent he will be a cham­pion for all Cal­i­for­ni­ans and help our state ag­gres­sively com­bat cli­mate change.”

The at­tor­ney gen­eral po­si­tion will be left open by the de­par­ture of Ms. Har­ris, who was elected to the U.S. Se­nate last month. If Mr. Be­cerra is con­firmed to the po­si­tion by the Cal­i­for­nia State Assem­bly and the Se­nate, he would main­tain the top pros­e­cu­tor’s post through 2018.

Mr. Be­cerra, the son of Mex­i­can im­mi­grants, would be­come Cal­i­for­nia’s first Latino at­tor­ney gen­eral if ap­proved. In a state­ment is­sued Thursday, he said he was proud to ac­cept the nom­i­na­tion.

“Gov­er­nor Brown has pre­sented me with an op­por­tu­nity I can­not refuse — to serve as at­tor­ney gen­eral of my home state,” he said. “As a for­mer deputy at­tor­ney gen­eral, I rel­ished the chance to be our state’s chief law en­force­ment of­fi­cer to pro­tect con­sumers, ad­vance crim­i­nal jus­tice re­form and, of course, keep our fam­i­lies safe.”

Mr. Be­cerra’s nom­i­na­tion as Cal­i­for­nia at­tor­ney gen­eral came as some­what of a sur­prise. His name was not on any of the widely cir­cu­lated lists for at­tor­ney gen­eral picks.

As late as this week, he was also ac­tively pur­su­ing new lead­er­ship po­si­tions in the House. Mr. Be­cerra has served in the House Demo­cratic lead­er­ship since 2009, but was term-lim­ited in his cur­rent post as chair­man.

On Tues­day Politico re­ported that he was seek­ing the rank­ing mem­ber post on the House Com­mit­tee on Ways and Means.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Jerry Brown has asked Rep. Xavier Be­cerra to re­turn from Wash­ing­ton and suc­ceed Ka­mala Har­ris as state at­tor­ney gen­eral.

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