This is how pathetic California Republicans are: One of the four candidates competing to run as the Republican candidate for governor is a registered sex offender with a long rap sheet.
Champ, a little-known political neophyte from the Fresno County community of Tollhouse, did not directly mention his criminal past during his speech but said, "In my life, I've been held accountable because of my stupidity. I do not want anyone else to be enslaved because of their lack of knowledge."
Champ's rap sheet is lengthy. Court records show that in 1992, he pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed firearm. In 1993, he was convicted of two counts of assault with intent to commit rape and as a result was placed on the state's sex-offender registry.
In March 1998, he accepted a plea deal on a charge of loitering to solicit a prostitute; later that year, he pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge after hitting a man with his vehicle, for which he was sentenced to 12 years in state prison, according to court records.
In an interview Friday, Champ acknowledged his criminal record, which was reported by KMJ radio in Fresno.
Champ said the assault case "was just for picking up some underage prostitutes" and resulted in a 90-day jail sentence. He said he turned his life around after the incident.
"I found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the prostitutes," Champ said. "I was like most people, ignorant in the darkness, in the very dark. I had no peace, had no love, had no joy. And now I do. Praise God for that…. I've grown considerably since I met Christ."
He called the voluntary manslaughter case a "tragic accident."
No one will take this guy seriously but maybe his family and a few wingnuts. But because of California's open primary law which should never, ever have passed and which will forever screw the politics of our state, this guy will get equal billing with Governor Brown and all other qualified candidates on the ballot, which the nutcases hope will result in lazy voters marking a box for anyone but the guy in office.