Luna is running for Los Angeles County sheriff as the anti-Villanueva. Will it work?
In many respects, the most interesting thing about Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca’s run for sheriff — his run in the Democratic primary that was last week — was not who he is, but how he ran.
With his campaign strategy and campaign management team, he succeeded in making the case that he can run against the unappealing incumbent, Sheriff Lee Baca, and emerge the nominee for the Democratic Party this fall.
But that was not the most interesting thing about Baca’s candidacy, not by a long shot.
It was the nature of the challenge he presented to the incumbent, and why he, rather than the incumbent, was the candidate that mattered. And what the challenger could not, nor should it, understand is that the nature of the challenge he presented to the incumbent was the reason why the challenger, who ran as a democratic socialist, should take whatever shots he needs to in order to win the race. When he ran, he ran as a Democrat, but now he’s not running as a Democrat, he’s running as a socialist.
That the incumbent is now running as a socialist, after the fact, is no secret.
It was clear from the get go that the incumbent wasn’t going to run just as a Democrat because, in his own words, “the sheriff’s race is not about politics.”
The incumbent never denied it, but he tried to disguise the fact that he was running as a Democrat by trying to run as a democratic socialist. In both his campaign literature and in his stump speeches, he always referred to himself as a “Democrat running for sheriff.”
That was not an effort to obscure or disguise the fact that the incumbent was running as a Democrat. Rather, that was an effort to divert voters from the unappealing candidate whose primary qualifications were his race and gender.
I suspect, however, Baca is taking a page from the Democrats’ playbook, who call themselves socialists and then run, as they so often do, as communists, socialists, socialists, communists, communists, socialists, communists, socialists, communist, or anarchists.
Baca is running as a socialist. He has the same