Television advertisements in the campaign for San Diego District Attorney began airing Thursday for incumbent Bonnie Dumanis and challenger Robert Brewer.

The parents of murder victims in high-profile cases talk about their interactions with in ads for Dumanis, who is running for a fourth term.

Featured in the messages are Brent and Kelly King, the parents of Poway High School senior Chelsea King; Steve Bessant, father of Oceanside police Officer Dan Bessant; Milena Sellers, mother of Jonathan Sellers; Maria Keever, mother of Charlie Keever; and Dayna Herroz, mother of Tori Vienneau and grandmother of 10-month-old Dean Springstube.

“Having the support of these strong and courageous individuals means the world to me,” Dumanis said.

In two of the commercials, Steve Bessant says, “My son’s killers will spend the rest of their lives behind bars. We have Bonnie Dumanis and her team to thank for that.”

His son was shot and killed by gang members during a traffic stop in a rough Oceanside neighborhood.

Chelsea King was killed after she was accosted by a convicted sex offender while jogging in the hills above Lake Hodges. Young Sellers and Keever were molested, tortured and strangled by a man when they took a shortcut through the Otay River bed. Vienneau and her son, 10-month-old Dean, were strangled by the boy’s father, who wanted to avoid paying child support.

The ads for Brewer, a former prosecutor and now a private attorney, tout his support from various law enforcement organizations.

“The front lines of law enforcement have judged the candidates for District Attorney and overwhelmingly endorsed Bob Brewer,” a narrator says over a scroll of the groups backing him.

He also promises not to endorse candidates for other offices, or run for another office. Dumanis finished fourth in a bid for San Diego mayor two years ago.

Ex-prosecutor Terri Wyatt also is in the race. The primary election is scheduled for June 3. Unless someone wins more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff would be held in November.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.