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Fresno Police Chief Dyer Endorses Smittcamp for District Attorney

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer formally endorsed Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp for District Attorney. Months ago, incumbent Elizabeth Egan was endorsed by Fresno's other top law enforcement figure, Sheriff Margaret Mims. Political analysts say the division in support also points to inter-department division.
Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth  Egan held a press conference an hour after her challenger's press conference. Sheriff Margaret Mims officially endorsed Egan months ago.
Fresno County District Attorney Elizabeth Egan held a press conference an hour after her challenger's press conference. Sheriff Margaret Mims officially endorsed Egan months ago.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer formally endorsed Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp for District Attorney on Friday during a press conference.

An hour later, incumbent Elizabeth Egan called a press conference of her own, alongside Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims, to remind the public of Mims' endorsement.

Mims formally endorsed Egan months ago.
 
The race for Fresno County District Attorney is easily becoming one of the most contentious and competive of the coming June primary, says Thomas Holyoke, associate professor of political science at Fresno State.

Dyer says he didn't intend to get involved in the campaign, but did so because he felt it was his responsibility.

"You know, the easy thing for me to do is to stay on the sidelines and watch this election, but I don't believe I could've lived with myself," Dyer says.

He adds that his officers' overwhelming support of Smittcamp was another reason for him to endorse Smittcamp.

The two candidates are now endorsed by Fresno City and County's top two law enforcement figures.

"Elizabeth Egan has that same attitude of quality public service," Mims says in reference to her Sheriff's Office. "And that's why she has my support."

Mims says she's developed a trusting relationship with Egan.

This division of support also points to an inter-department division, according to Holyoke. He says Dyer's endorsement of Smittcamp will give weight to Smittcamp's claims of the current state of the district attorney's office.

"This is probably the nastiest race locally this year. So much of this race has really been about the internal workings of the district attorney's office," Holyoke says.

Smittcamp and Egan are no strangers to each other. Smittcamp previously worked in the district attorney's office under Egan.

This campaign season, neither candidate has been shy about taking swipes at the other.

"Take a look behind me and ask yourself, really, who is law enforcement's choice?" Smittcamp says as she stands in front of her supporters, making reference to Egan's campaign slogan, "Law Enforcement's Choice."

"I'm just overwhelmed and pleased with their support and it's based on quality public service and a commitment to driving crime down, and we as a team are doing that," Egan says.

For a list of those who endorse Smittcamp, visit her website at http://www.lisasmittcamp.com/endorsements/

For a list of those who endorse Egan, visit her website at http://www.eganforda.com/endorsements/

The primary election is June 3. The deadline to register to vote in that election is May 19.

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