LA County sheriff's race: Alex Villanueva, Robert Luna trade political jabs during virtual debate

Jory Rand Image
Thursday, August 18, 2022
LA County sheriff's race: Villanueva, Luna trade barbs during debate
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva traded jabs with his political opponent, former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, as the two faced off in a virtual debate.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva traded barbs with his political challenger, former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, as the two faced off in a virtual debate.

Both candidates are working to convince residents to give them their vote in November.

"He would've rather eaten his own liver then go into Venice," Villanueva said during the candidates forum, referring to Luna.

"Yeah, there's been several insults," Luna said. "I'm used to that with him."

The combative debate was held during a Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council meeting.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other local agencies conducted an active shooter drill at Rosemead High School.

Villanueva and Luna traded criticisms for nearly an hour over Zoom.

"Because you show up on the day of a cleanup with a cowboy hat and say you fixed it all, doesn't mean you were actually fully engaged in fixing it," Luna told Villanueva.

The sheriff said: "He's been to a lot of cocktail parties in ivory towers, talking to politicians and the supervisors, oh yeah."

The county Board of Supervisors were brought up again and again. Villanueva has had a combative relationship with the board for years, repeatedly insulting them in public forums.

Luna accused the sheriff of biting the hand that feeds not only him, but the entire county.

"If you were calling them names, they're all women," Luna said. "This man has demeaned them all, told them he is threatening them, taking them behind the shed. How do you talk that way to the people that have the purse brings to your budget? And then you expect to provide the best services to the residents of the county?

"The fact is, the Sheriff's Department relies on the Board of Supervisors for funding and that's about it," Villanueva said. "Because when I go into 101 town halls I'm talking directly to the community. I don't have to rely on the board that hides behind Zoom and plexiglass.