BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Attorney General is one of the most powerful positions in the state and this election year, it’s arguably the most closely-watched and fierce statewide contests in California.

The race is taking place in a year where crime dominated headlines — strings of smash and grab robberies plagued cities, and progressive and tough-on-crime District Attorneys are seemingly at war.

“Crime is just through the roof. It’s occurred not only in Kern County, but statewide,” Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said. “Attorney General is California’s top cop, and we need someone in that position who can help get crime under control.”

California has four candidates hoping to take that position.

The incumbent, Democrat Rob Bonta, was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom last year after the sitting Attorney General Xavier Becerra was given a spot in President Biden’s cabinet as Health and Human Services Secretary.

This will be the first time Bonta will actually face California voters as an Attorney General candidate.

On the right we have former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Republican Nathan Hochman. He’s endorsed by the California GOP and here locally, has the backing of Kern Republican activist and consultant Cathy Abernathy.

We also have Los Angeles lawyer Eric Early who positions himself as the candidate furthest to the right.
He has the support of the California Republican Assembly.

In the middle, there’s Anne Marie Schubert, the Sacramento District Attorney who switched from the Republican party to No Party Preference in 2018. She’s best known for helping in the arrest and conviction of the Golden State Killer.

“People need to understand that I’m relentless. Whether it’s the pursuit of justice in terms of that kind of case [or] other public policy issues related to public safety,” Schubert said. “I am relentless. I will not stop. I will not give up. And that’s what California needs right now. We are in a state of chaos.”

Schubert has the backing of the majority of current California District Attorneys, including Kern’s Cynthia Zimmer.

Tuesday’s primary election will determine which two candidates face off in November’s General Election.