Three years after investing more than $340,000 into Republican Gary Jeandron’s political aspirations, the influential Riverside Sheriffs’ Association has decided to go another direction.
“Public safety has been my top priority from my tenure on the Yucca Town Council and it remains so to this day,” Mayes said in a statement today. “Knowing my record has earned the trust of the largest law enforcement organizations in each of the two counties contained in the 42nd district means a great deal to me.”
Mayes, chief-of-staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Janice Rutherford, also secured the San Bernardino County Safety Employees’ Benefit Association.
The RSA’s endorsement in any Republican showdown is closely tracked, both for the votes that it can mean and for the donations that are almost inevitable.
The group was Jeandron’s biggest backer in his unsuccessful 2010 campaign to unseat Supervisor John Benoit. Campaign finance records show the RSA donated $341,921 in monetary and non-monetary contributions to Jeandron, an elected school board member and the former Palm Springs police chief.
Benoit, a former California Highway Patrol officer himself, is now backing Mayes in the 2014 campaign.
Jeandron said he interviewed months ago for the RSA endorsement, and downplayed today’s news by saying he felt confident he would have the members’ backing at the polls.
“My opponent is really good at this political gamesmanship,” Jeandron said.
“When it comes down to it, public safety will vote for me. I feel very, very confident of that. I am public safety. I did it. I can relate and understand public safety.
“When those guys, my brothers and sisters go to vote, they know who to vote for.”
In other endorsement news this week, Jeandron has secured the backing of the the Palm Springs Police Officers’ Association and the National Nonpartisan Latino Peace Officers Association for Law and Order.