If you’re in California and you’d like your next governor to be a sex offender and a convicted felon with a history of violence, look no further than Glenn Champ, one of the current crop of six gubernatorial GOP candidates.
Glenn Champ, 48, addressed hundreds of GOP delegates and supporters Sunday at the site of the state party’s semi-annual convention. Introduced by party chairman Jim Brulte and allotted 10 minutes, Champ spoke in between the main GOP candidates, former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari and state Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of San Bernardino County.
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.”
There’s a record of Champ’s “stupidity.” It’s called a rap sheet.
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.
“I found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the [underage] 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.”
The candidate has a leg-up on his rivals, he thinks.
Champ said his life experience could help him deal with politicians in Sacramento. He calls them criminals, saying, for example, that they routinely infringe upon constitutionally protected gun rights. “I know what the criminal mind thinks, and I know how it works and I know how to stop it, and that’s something [other politicians] don’t get,” Champ said.
California GOP chair Jim Brulte isn’t fazed by Champ’s criminal past.
“We’re not in the business of vetting candidates, and we don’t pick winners and losers,” Brulte said. “Republican voters should get to decide who runs against Jerry Brown.”
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