One of California's four GOP candidates for governor is also a registered sex offender, with a lengthy criminal past.
According to the paper, Champ did not directly mention his previous run-ins with the law at last weekend's Republican state convention, but hinted at the hurdles he has been through.
"In my life, I've been held accountable because of my stupidity," Champ said. "I do not want anyone else to be enslaved because of their lack of knowledge."
As for the experiences behind that "stupidity" comment, court records sifted through by the Times show Champ pled guilty in 1992 to carrying a concealed weapon. One year later, he was convicted on two counts of assault with intent to rape, which landed him on California's sex-offender list. In 1998, Champ reached a plea deal on charges he loitered to solicit a prostitute, and later that year, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter after hitting a man with his car.
In a Friday interview with KMJ radio, Champ went into more detail on his record, explaining how Jesus Christ played a role in the lessons he has learned.
"I never heard about Jesus Christ until I was arrested," Champ said. "I was out there like most young, dumb, stupid people. We're out doing whatever we like to do to feel good. It's totally wrong and it has consequences thereof."
As the AP noted last Sunday, the GOP has steadily lost support in California, with registration dipping down to 29 percent. State party Chairman Jim Brulte told the wire service that broadening the party's reach to potential new voters is a top priority this election year.