LONG BEACH, Calif. (KNX) — Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna announced his candidacy for Los Angeles County Sheriff on Wednesday.
Luna, who is retiring from the department at the end of December, made the announcement during a press conference at Signal Hill. Luna has been in law enforcement for over 35 years.
He told KNX 1070 that public service is his utmost passion.
“It’s who I am,” he explained. “If I wasn’t doing this, I’d be volunteering out in the community because I’ve done this for so long. I love this profession. I love the people in it. I feel like I still have a lot to contribute.”
Luna also said the relationship between Sheriff Alex Villanueva and the County of Board of Supervisors is “embarrassing.”
“There is nothing wrong with disagreeing on policy, that’s going to happen,” he told KNX. “Healthy debate is how you reach a good decision. But you can’t have a dysfunctional relationship because you can’t get anything done.”
During Luna's press conference, some protestors stood behind Luna with some holding signs reading, "LUNA FAILED LONG BEACH. HE WILL FAIL ALL OF LA COUNTY!" and "DON'T LET LUNA FAIL UP!"
During his weekly “Facebook Live” chat, Villanueva responded to Luna’s candidacy.
“Actually, I take that as an endorsement that the political establishment wants a puppet sheriff and they have a casting call for as many applicants as possible to be the next puppet sheriff,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva also said he looks forward to the debate.
In a statement posted by Los Angeles Daily News, Villanueva’s campaign manager, Javier Gonzalez, also responded to Luna’s announcement.
“We are not running against the Johnny come lately candidates. We are running against the woke privileged elites and their non-union fiends looking to privatize more government work to their grifter friends who run private nonprofit corporations,” he wrote.
Luna is the eighth candidate. The other candidates are Eli Vera, Eric Strong, Cecil Rambo, Matt Rodriguez, Brittan Steinbrenner, Enrique Del Real and April Saucedo Hood, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.