(April 14, 2005) -- L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca has endorsed retired Councilman/Vice Mayor Doug Drummond for Mayor of LB in the April 2006 election.
Retired Councilman Drummond, who rose through LBPD's ranks from beat cop to Commander before representing LB's 3d Council district (1990-98), said in an emailed campaign release that he is pleased to have the Sheriff's endorsement this early in the race.
"Sheriff Baca and I share an interest in the importance of public safety. I am proud he’s chosen to support me at this early date."
The release indicates that an official announcement will be made at an April 20 campaign event "honoring public safety officers from the Police and Fire departments, as well as Long Beach Lifeguards, for their service to the community."
In early January 2005, Drummond was the first person to file paperwork seeking the LB Mayoral post.
In March, Randal Hernandez, formerly chief of staff to Mayor Beverly O'Neill and Appointments Secretary to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy...along with the endorsement of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe.
The 3d district's current Councilman, Frank Colonna, also served as Vice Mayor but has not formally announced his future plans. Nor has current Vice Mayor and 5th district Councilmember Jackie Kell.
Councilmembers Colonna and Kell both face LB's term limits law, effectively requiring them either to retire, seek another office or pursue a write-in candidacy for reelection to their current posts.
In a January 2005 extemporaneous telephone chat, Mr. Drummond told LBReport.com he's "upset with the destruction of the city budget by big, sweet retirement pensions approved by the City Council under prior management. I'm very disappointed that the current Council hasn't done anything to address the situation."
Concerning the O'Neill administration, Drummond said, "I like Beverly, but I'm really disappointed with what's happened in the last couple of years. I realize the Mayor doesn't have a vote, and I certainly can't say that our current situation is something that can be blamed on her, but I would like to see a little more information coming from the Mayor's microphone about the situation in which we find ourselves from bad decisions."
As for public safety in Long Beach: "Public safety is going to have to be better financed, but where I am really disappointed is, for example, that the Council gave huge retirements to non-public safety employees and then wanted to take the money out of the public safety budget."
What does Drummond think of the entertainment and commercial component of Queensway Bay, the "Pike @ Rainbow Harbor"? "It was just such a gorgeous piece of real estate and to me [in my opinion] it wound up being such an "as usual" development. I'm really disappointed."
During his Council tenure, Councilman/Vice Mayor Drummond represented LB on the Southern California Association of Governments and was the first chair of the newly formed Gateway Cities Council of Governments representing 27 cities in southeast LA County. (Councilman Colonna subsequently held that post.)
Drummond has also served in leadership positions with (among others) the Downtown Lions Club, Boys and Girls Club, LB Chapter of the Red Cross, LB Youth Home and the LB Historical Society...and currently serves as president of the LB Area Republican Party.
Mr. Drummond told LBReport.com in January: "This is a non-partisan race. It's not about Republicans or Democrats. It's about issues in the city and it's about managing the city's resources for the improvement of life for the people who live in Long Beach. We should stay focused on issues, not partisan politics."