California governor candidate is a registered sex offender


California gubernatorial hopeful Glenn Champ (Photo: champforgovernor.com)

Earlier this month, Glenn Champ was one of four candidates running to oust California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to address the state Republican Party convention. It is safe to assume he was the only registered sex offender, with a history of violent crimes and more than a decade in prison, to get 10 minutes to make his pitch to delegates.

Champ, running for office for the first time, was convicted in 1993 of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape. Six years later, he pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter charges after hitting and killing a man with his vehicle. Champ’s lengthy criminal record was first reported by KMJ Radio in Fresno, Calif.

But Champ says his time behind bars gives him a unique insight into the minds of politicians who roam the halls of the state capitol building in Sacramento.

“I know what the criminal mind thinks, and I know how it works and I know how to stop it,” Champ told the Los Angeles Times.

He said the assault case “was just for picking up some underage prostitutes.” He said the manslaughter charge came after an altercation in which he didn’t realize he had struck the victim with his car. In prison, Champ said, he found God.

A state Republican Party spokesman wouldn’t tell the L.A. Times whether the party knew of Champ’s past. “We’re not in the business of vetting candidates, and we don’t pick winners and losers,” party chairman Jim Brulte told the Times in a written statement.

The California Republican Party gave speaking slots to any of the six candidates who qualified to run for governor. Front-runner Neel Kashkari, who oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program under Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, Assemblyman Tim Donnelly and Laguna Hills Mayor Andrew Blount also addressed delegates.

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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