Former Sheriff Ed Bates endorses DA Keitz

Former Madera County Sheriff Ed Bates, who led the investigation of 26 children kidnapped in Chowchilla in 1976, has endorsed District Attorney Michael Keitz’s reelection campaign, citing Keitz’s proven record as a tough prosecutor.

The endorsement came in a prepared statement from the Keitz campaign released Aug. 29.

“The residents of Madera County need a district attorney who will fight to keep criminals locked up,” Bates said. “Michael has done that over the last 22 years, which is why I am pleased to endorse him. Our county needs Michael’s experience and leadership in the DA’s office.”

In addition to serving as sheriff, Bates graduated from the FBI Academy and Command School. After a 30 year career in public safety, he taught criminology at California State University, Fresno.

Keitz joined the district attorney’s office in 1992 as a deputy district attorney. He took the oath of office as district attorney on Jan. 5, 2009, after his appointment by the board of supervisors, and was elected in 2010.

Keitz is being challenged in the Nov. 4 general election by Oakhurst attorney David Linn, who received 43.6% of the vote in the June primary election. Keitz received 36.6%, and candidate Miranda Neal received 19.8%.