Arnie Klein Set to Challenge Gallegos in DA Race

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His campaign Facebook page has been up for almost two months now, but Arnold "Arnie" Klein is about to make it official: Next Wednesday, after more than four decades practicing law and nearly two years of "retirement," the 71-year-old attorney will announce his campaign to unseat Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos.

Known as a dynamic and effective showman in the courtroom, Klein spent the bulk of his career in Los Angeles, first as a deputy DA and later as a defense attorney with his own practice. His highest-profile case came in 1986, when he successfully defended the special effects coordinator from Twilight Zone: The Movie. (During that film's production, a helicopter accident killed actor Vic Morrow and two children.)

In 1999 Klein went back to the prosecutor's side of the aisle, taking a job with the Tulare County District Attorney's Office. In 2006 he moved up to Humboldt County, where he spent five-plus years as a deputy district attorney. (Journal Publisher Judy Hodgson got to see him in action as an alternate juror in a 2008 case.)

In a Times-Standard profile from January of last year, former colleagues called Klein "a real gentleman ... with a wicked sense of humor," "a magician in the courtroom" and "the best trial attorney in Humboldt County." 

In that T-S piece, Klein said being a prosecutor is "a young man's game," but a supporter commented beneath the story, "He has retired too soon, law in your 70s is when you hit your peak."

Klein will announce his candidacy next Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. on the county courthouse steps.

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