Thursday, March 8, 2012
District Attorney Candidate Ipsen Seeking Democratic Party Post
By KENNETH OFGANG, Staff Writer
Deputy District Attorney Steven Ipsen, a declared candidate for district attorney, has taken out papers to run for the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee.
Ipsen, who did not return a MetNews phone call, obtained nomination papers on Monday to make a second run for district attorney. He then took out papers on Tuesday to run for the Central Committee seat in the 38th Assembly District, which includes Santa Clarita and part of the western San Fernando Valley.
Friday would be the filing deadline for both races, except that filing for district attorney will be extended five days because incumbent Steve Cooley is not running.
The usual rule that a candidate cannot run for two offices at the same election—both are on the June 5 ballot—does not apply when one of them is a party committee seat. But the dual candidacy would be unusual.
Unlike the officially nonpartisan district attorney’s race, in which anyone can vote, the committee posts for the Democrats, Republicans, and some minor parties are decided in a closed primary.
Only registered party members may vote. Each Assembly district elects seven members to the committee.
The committee is scheduled to vote on the endorsement in April.
Jeffrey Daar—a Woodland Hills attorney, longtime Central Committee member, and chair of the panel that will interview district attorney candidates before the full committee decides who to endorse—said all candidates who are registered Democrats are free to seek the endorsement.
Daar has endorsed Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers, who has also picked up the backing of several local Democratic clubs, most recently the Stonewall and West Hollywood/Beverly Hills clubs. A handful of elected Democratic officials have endorsed Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, but he is ineligible for the party endorsement because his is registered decline-to-state.
Election to the Democratic post is hardly a foregone conclusion for Ipsen, who recently switched his registration from "decline to state" to Democratic, saying the Democratic Party was a better fit given his activities in unionizing the District Attorney’s Office. Ten candidates had already filed in the district as of Tuesday, with Ipsen and one other candidate having taken out, but not returned the paperwork.
If he is elected, Ipsen will take his seat on the committee in July. He would then be able to vote for himself if he made the runoff and a new endorsement vote were taken for the general election, Daar said, but this would occur only if the original endorsed candidate were to lose in the primary, or if some type of major scandal were to occur and a supermajority of the committee wanted to rescind the original endorsement.
No other candidate for district attorney has indicated any interest in running for a party post at the same time as the primary. But Ipsen is not the only candidate seeking to capitalize on his party affiliation.
Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson was scheduled to speak at last month’s state Republican convention, and was hailed by the state party chair in a press release as a “rising star among the law and order community.”
Jackson had to cancel the appearance because of a last-minute scheduling conflict, he said yesterday, but added he was “very honored to have been invited.”
Copyright 2012, Metropolitan News Company