Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has endorsed Assemblyman Ted Lieu in his bid for California attorney general next year.

It is the first major public safety endorsement of the race, a Lieu campaign spokesman said.

“I have known Ted Lieu for many years and he has always been a fighter,” said Baca. “Ted Lieu is a leader in protecting Californians and has what it takes to be California’s next attorney general.

“I am proud to endorse Ted Lieu.”

Lieu holds the rank of major in the United State Air Force Reserves and served on active duty for four years as a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps as a military prosecutor.

“Ted has repeatedly taken on powerful interests to protect the public from harm,” Baca added. “As California’s next attorney general, Ted will fight for all Californians and protect the most vulnerable.”

Lieu is the author of the California Foreclosure Prevention Act, a comprehensive law to stem the tide of foreclosures. The assemblyman said he believes that the government’s first priority is to protect its citizens.

Now in his final term in the Assembly, Lieu is the chair of the powerful Assembly Rules Committee.