Disbarred Attorney, Dem Candidate Only Narrowly Behind in Race for California Office

Michael Schaefer campaign
• November 13, 2018 10:29 am


Democratic candidate Michael Schaefer, an 80-year-old disbarred attorney, trails Republican opponent Joel Anderson by less than 2,000 votes in a race for a position on California's state board of equalization.

The district in which the two candidates are running has almost 5 million registered voters, of which 36 percent are Democrats and 31 percent are Republicans. The latest numbers at publication show Republican candidate Joel Anderson with 978,774 votes compared to Schaefer's 976,636 votes, a margin of 2,138.

Schaefer, who served on the San Diego City council from 1965 – 1971, is a perennial candidate in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Nevada. He withdrew from a State Assembly election earlier this year, and lost primaries for a Los Angeles city council seat in 2015 and 2017. He lost two district attorney races in the 1990s, one in San Diego and the other in San Francisco.

Schaefer was taken off the ballot in Nevada's 2014 state controller election because he had not lived in the state long enough. He lost a Las Vegas city council election, and a mayoral race in Palm Springs, California.

Also in 2014, he made a fourth attempt to get reinstated to the State Bar of Nevada as an attorney. After being disbarred in 2001, Schaefer asked for reinstatement in 2007, 2009, 2013, and 2014.

When he was disbarred, the court said Schaefer had "violated six Nevada Supreme Court rules regarding conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, meritorious claims, candor toward tribunal, fairness to opposing party and counsel and communication with represented party."

In 2003, California's supreme court, which had also disbarred Schaefer, said he "not only has not learned from his past misconduct, he does not appreciate the gravity of his present misconduct."

In 2006, Schaefer said being disbarred made him a "pariah" among ladies he wanted to date.

Writing about himself in the third person, Schaefer claimed in 2010, "As he ages he is calmer, more calculating, seeking peace not war."

Comedian Brad Garrett filed a restraining order against Schaefer after they initially spoke at a February 2012 event, claiming the disbarred lawyer was stalking him. A justice of the peace sided with Garrett.

Published under: 2018 Election, California