Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, Attorney Mike Hestrin Receives Two More Years in Office – Orange County Register

Barring recalls or resignations, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco and District Attorney Mike Hestrin will serve at least until 2028 — two years after the end of their current terms — under new state law restricting elections for public safety leaders redefined.

Gov. Gavin Newsom late last month signed AB 759 deferring sheriff and district attorney elections in most California counties to presidential election years. The new law doesn’t appear to affect San Bernardino or Los Angeles counties, and it’s unclear if it will apply to Orange County.

Bianco, a Republican and a vocal critic of Newsom who supported the Democratic governor’s removal from office, mockingly thanked Newsom “for the unintended consequences” of AB 759 in a Facebook post.

In a phone interview on Monday, October 3, Hestrin said the motivation behind AB 759 was “a little lazy.”

He will make use of the additional years in office, “and my supporters will certainly be happy about that”.

Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin was given an additional two-year extension after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation deferring sheriff and district attorney elections to presidential election years. (File photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)
Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin was given an additional two-year extension after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation deferring sheriff and district attorney elections to presidential election years. (File photo by Will Lester, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin/SCNG)

As a Republican, Hestrin has criticized the new law as “a rather cynical attempt” to delay the sheriff’s and district attorney’s elections “until a time when the only party in power (Democrats) thinks it’s better for them.”

He added he believes the law will backfire on Democrats, adding that he has “strong support from registered Democrats” and is doing his work impartially.

AB 759 also applies to Riverside County Assessor/County Clerk/Recorder Peter Aldana, who ran unopposed for a four-year term in June.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, AB 759 is rescheduling elections for sheriffs, prosecutors and surveyors to increase voter turnout for these races. Turnout in presidential elections tends to be higher than in other years.

But with AB 759 going into effect Jan. 1, it gives Bianco and Hestrin, who were reelected in June, another two years in office until the 2028 presidential election. They previously ran for re-election in 2026.

The new law applies to so-called general law counties. 44 of California’s 58 counties, including Riverside County, fall into this category.

Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties are among California’s 14 charter counties. According to a report to the state Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments, San Bernardino County is exempt from the new law because before Jan. 1, 2021, its bylaws scheduled sheriff, district attorney and clerk elections on dates other than the presidential primary.

LA County sheriff and assessor elections are also exempt. And it appears the new law won’t apply to LA District Attorney George Gascón, who was elected in 2020 and is up for re-election in 2024 when the presidency is up for election.

Bianco and Hestrin were re-elected in the June 7 primary, with Bianco receiving 61% of the vote defeating Michael Lujan and Hestrin receiving 55% defeating Lara Gressley and Burke Strunsky.

This is an evolving story. Please check again for updates.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/03/riverside-county-sheriff-chad-bianco-da-mike-hestrin-get-2-more-years-in-office/ Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, Attorney Mike Hestrin Receives Two More Years in Office – Orange County Register

Dais Johnston

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