If Fresno County District Attorney challenger Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp’s latest endorsement announcement had a feel of déjà vu, that’s probably because the whole scenario seemed to follow a now-familiar script.
On Friday, Smittcamp called a news conference to say she'd been endorsed by Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer. A short time later, incumbent District Attorney Elizabeth Egan —obviously looking to steal, or at least share, Smittcamp's spotlight — called her own news conference.
It was the fourth time that Smittcamp made a major campaign announcement, and the fourth time that Egan followed Smittcamp by touting an endorsement she had won.
In this latest case, Egan’s endorsement — that of Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims — was old news, formally announced almost six months ago. But the pattern was clear: Smittcamp announcement followed by Egan announcement.
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Consider the timeline:
A. In late October, Smittcamp told The Bee she would challenge Egan. At the time, Egan didn’t offer any public comment, but instead issued a news release touting her endorsement by the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Mims and former sheriffs Richard Pierce and Steve Magarian.
B. Six weeks later, Smittcamp announced the Fresno Police Officers Association’s endorsement. Egan responded by announcing endorsements from the Fresno Sheriff's Correctional Sergeants Association, Citizens for Law and Order, Crime Victims Action Alliance and Firebaugh Police Chief Elsa Lopez.
C. Late last month, Smittcamp called a news conference to announce the endorsements of former federal Judge Oliver W. Wanger, who is now in private practice, as well as prominent local attorneys Warren Paboojian, Larry Wayte and Brian Tatarian. Egan then sent out a news release with the endorsement of former 5th District Court of Appeal Presiding Justice James A. Ardaiz.