No Republican has won statewide office in California since Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected as governor in 2006. The editorial boards at California’s major newspapers seldom make endorsements for conservative candidates and causes.
Naturally, it came as a surprise when the Los Angeles Times recently endorsed Republican Lanhee Chen for California State Controller, the office of the state’s chief fiscal officer. Chen, a Bay Area policy wonk who worked on Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio’s presidential campaigns, has promised to serve as an independent watchdog of Democrats in Sacramento. The Times’ editorial board sees value in having someone outside the party structure overseeing the disbursement of state funds and auditing transactions.