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Dumanis Endorsed County Clerk Who Challenged Gay Marriage Ruling

Bonnie Dumanis (right), sits with her mother, Ann, and wife, Denise, on a ben...

Credit: Bonnie Dumanis for Mayor

Above: Bonnie Dumanis (right), sits with her mother, Ann, and wife, Denise, on a bench in Rancho Bernardo dedicated to Dumanis' father, Abe.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis — who is married to a woman — says she endorsed San Diego County Clerk Ernie Dronenburg for re-election before he challenged a gay marriage ruling.

The district attorney says the clerk assured her his filing with the state Supreme Court seeking to stop gay weddings was an attempt to clarify the law.

In a written statement, Dumanis said she endorsed Dronenburg "long before" he asked the California Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages. Dumanis said she endorsed Dronenburg in April 2013.

Dronenburg filed a petition with the state high court in July 2013 after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower court's ruling that invalidated Proposition 8, a measure that outlawed same-sex marriages. Dronenburg later withdrew the petition because it was similar to another that had been filed.

He did not file paperwork for re-election with the County Clerk's Office until months later, in October. Dronenburg did not return a call asking about the ironic endorsement, but the website for his 2014 campaign lists Dumanis as a supporter.

Dumanis says she voiced her disappointment and concerns directly to Dronenburg about his petition to halt gay weddings. She said he assured her his actions were not "anti-gay, but rather an attempt to clarify the law."

"As a member of the LGBT community, I continue to be a strong supporter of equality and same-sex marriage," Dumanis said in a written statement.

Dumanis is seeking a fourth term as district attorney. She is facing two challengers: former Deputy District Attorney Terri Wyatt and former federal prosecutor Bob Brewer.

Dumanis said in 2007 she would not endorse political candidates except under unusual circumstances. At the time, she said public corruption probes were difficult enough “without the possibility of having our motives questioned or impaired by politics.”

She has since endorsed several candidates seeking political office.

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Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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