Former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Nathan Hochman Thursday announced he is running for California attorney general in 2022, promising to “put public safety first and restore justice for all.”

“The issues facing our state are severe,” Hochman, a Republican, said in a video released by his campaign. “Crime is on the rise, people feel less safe and our state government has failed to find the solutions.

“But I believe with new leadership, we can solve these difficult issues and I know that I have the experience, passion and ideas to get California back on track.”

Hochman was U.S. assistant attorney general from Jan. 22, 2008-Jan. 20, 2009, overseeing the Tax Division of the Department of Justice.

Hochman was also a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles and president of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.

Hochman represented former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in two trials where Baca was accused of obstructing an FBI investigation into abuses in the jails operated by the sheriff’s department.

The first trial ended in a mistrial in 2016 when jurors were deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquittal. Baca was convicted in the 2017 retrial and sentenced to three years in federal prison.

Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta was confirmed by the Legislature as attorney general Thursday, succeeding Xavier Becerra, who resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

No Republican has been elected to statewide office in California since 2006 when Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected as governor and Steve Poizner elected insurance commissioner.

Dan Lungren was the most recent Republican California attorney general, serving from 1991-99.

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