LA Sheriff Villanueva, Chief Luna debate top issues ahead of November election

The race for Los Angeles County Sheriff is heating up. 

The two candidates - incumbent Sheriff Alex Villanueva and former Long Beach police chief Robert Luna - squared off in a debate Wednesday moderated by FOX 11's very own Phil Shuman. 

It was a showdown and the two wasted no time going after each other.

"There's been several insults, I'm used to that with him," said Luna. 

 The current sheriff is in a battle with the LA County Board of Supervisors, while Luna is on his own battle to unseat Villanueva.

"If you're calling them names, they're all women. This man has demeaned them all, told them he is threatening them and taken them behind a shed. How do you talk that way to the people who have the purse strings to your budget?" Luna said.

It was an hours-long virtual debate, mostly for members of the Sherman Oaks Homeowner's Association, with Villanueva and Luna on rising crime, homelessness, and the embattled county District Attorney George Gascón.


"I don't agree with everything Gascón does. There's a lot of things that we just disagree on. But here's the difference between my opponent and I. I can pick up the phone and call him and work something out," said Luna.

"I think Mr. Luna has taken a lot of liberty with a description of my relationship with Mr. Gascón I think he's probably a decent man at heart, but he is hopelessly misguided," Villanueva replied.

But in this debate, both these men wound up in the crosshairs of each other.

"And you're tired of all the scandals, allegations of corruption that are happening. But on a weekly basis and all the local papers, then you're looking for a change," said Luna.

"Well, I can tell you this. If Luna were to become sheriff, the number of people asking for CCW is going to quadruple because they're going to be in fear for their own safety", Villanueva said. 

A CCW is the permit you need if you're going to arm yourself and carry a concealed weapon legally. 

There's no doubt the first of several face to face showdowns between these two men as they're both facing a runoff election this November, when voters will decide who the next sheriff of LA County will be.