Michael J. Schroeder, the legendary master of Orange County’s cutthroat politics (when he’s not running his Santa Ana chiropractic-insurance company), must have sighed in relief last month while he was on the Stockholm leg of his European vacation. Up until that point, Schroeder’s nightmare scenario was coming true: His candidate, Craig Hunter, looked destined for a last-place finish in the race for sheriff in the June 8 election. Hunter, Anaheim’s deputy police chief, had raised the lowest amount of contributions, struggled to rally crowds, failed to capture the local GOP endorsement despite Schroeder’s influence there and placed last in every known poll. Even an effort to trip Bill Hunt’s candidacy by linking him to a 7-year-old pot-bust-gone-wrong scandal had fizzled. Entering the last six weeks of the contest to control California’s second-largest police agency, it looked probable that Hunt, a former sheriff’s lieutenant turned private investigator, and appointed Sheriff Sandra Hutchens would face each other in a... More >>>