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Jim Miller appears to have an endorsement problem.
The candidate for San Diego County Superior Court judge listed supporters on his campaign website who never formally endorsed him. They include state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Delores Chavez, president of the Valley Center chapter of the California Federation of Republican Women.
Fletcher learned he had been listed as a Miller endorser when contacted by Voice of San Diego earlier this week.
Erik Caldwell, Fletcher’s chief of staff, said he wasn’t sure why Miller had listed the assemblyman as a supporter.
“Nathan has only endorsed (opponent Robert) Amador. He did not endorse Jim Miller,” Caldwell said. “His endorsement was made long before the June primary.”
Caldwell said his office contacted Miller this week to ask that Fletcher’s name be removed from the site. Miller said Fletcher’s name had appeared with a “2010” in parentheses next to it, indicating his endorsement was from Miller’s unsuccessful 2010 run. The assemblyman’s name has since disappeared from Miller’s endorsement list altogether.
Chavez, whose post bars her from endorsing either candidate for judge, was alerted that she was listed as a supporter on Miller’s website weeks before the June primary. A supervisor at the state Federation of Republican Women contacted Chavez to ask why she had endorsed Miller.
“I wasn’t aware of it,” Chavez said. “I wasn’t irritated or angry but it just hadn’t happened. I don’t know why he did that.”
Chavez called Miller to ask him to remove her name from his website, and he did.
Miller insisted to VOSD that Chavez had in fact endorsed him and later changed her mind.
The Chula Vista firefighters’ union also contacted Miller’s campaign about an endorsement posting recently.
The union endorsed Miller in the 2010 judge’s race but not this year.
“I called Jim Miller and told him that we weren’t endorsing him,” said Mark McDonald, chairman of the group’s political action committee. “In fact, I wrote a letter for Robert Amador.”
But instead of removing the union’s endorsement from the campaign website, Miller added an asterisk, noting the union backed him in 2010. That didn’t satisfy the union.
“I told him if you need to leave our name up you need to make it more clear,” Miller said.
Other endorsements also raise questions.
Congressional candidate Nick Popaditch and El Cajon Mayor Mark Lewis are listed as supporters on both the Amador and Miller websites.
Popaditch said the listings were “factually accurate but a little bit misleading” because he supports both candidates but hasn’t formally endorsed either one.
Amador, however, said Popaditch had signed an endorsement card for him in August.
Lewis did not return multiple messages left by VOSD this week but Amador acknowledged that Lewis had endorsed both candidates.
Miller told VOSD that Lewis had endorsed Amador not knowing that Miller would be running again.
At least one of the supporters Miller lists on his website is sticking by his endorsement: Anton Ewing, a certified public accountant who was convicted of felony stalking and federal racketeering charges in 2010, confirmed to VOSD that he believes Miller is the most qualified candidate.
Miller said he was unaware of Ewing’s past. He said he met Ewing only once at a candidate forum.
Miller’s latest endorsement debacle comes a week after the Lincoln Club of San Diego County pulled its endorsement of Miller following an East County Magazine story that revealed the El Cajon-based attorney failed to disclose he had been removed from his post as a judge pro tem for the county court.
Miller’s website isn’t the only medium he has used to tout questionable endorsements.
Miller claims “police and fire support” on his campaign signs despite a paltry list of four individual police officers and two fire unions, including the Chula Vista group that asked him to remove its name from the endorsement list on his website.
Amador says he has won the support of 22 police and fire unions and 77 current and former law enforcement officials.
Miller said he had not listed all his police and fire supporters on his campaign website but would not say how many additional names could be added to the list. The supporters currently included on the site have been taunted by union members, he said.
“Just because I don’t list everybody out there doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot more out there,” Miller said.