District Attorney candidates spark controversy

Bakersfield, Calif. - There are two candidates running for Kern County's District Attorney: Cynthia Zimmer and Scott Spielman.

In a debate at CSUB in April, Zimmer mentioned multiple times her support of local law enforcement and the fact that they have endorsed her.

"Law enforcement has chosen to endorse me because they have the confidence in me and what I do. They know me and they know my work," said Zimmer at the debate.

Spielman responded, hinting that the Bakersfield Police Officers Association (BPOA) had also talked to him about an endorsement but he had denied any deals.

"I did not make them many promises other than to follow my conscience and law. I did not make any back door promises," said Spielman.

Friday, the BPOA put out a statement saying Spielman's implications were false. Part of the statement read "His assertions could not be further from the truth."

Bakersfield College Political Science professor Ed Borgens said an endorsement like that can be either a good or bad thing, depending on the voter's perspective.

"Not everyone sees the police or sheriff as being supportive of their own demographic group and so there could be a backlash if you get this endorsement of those associations. Of course you could also receive the positive from that as people looking at the police and the sheriff as upholding the law and being an extension of justice," said Borgens.

The primary election is set to take place June 5.

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