Opens Lt. Governor Campaign : Ex-Call Girl’s Poster Is Not Just Bare Facts

Times Staff Writer

Norma Jean Almodovar, a traffic cop-turned-call girl who’s running for lieutenant governor on the Libertarian ticket, unveiled a poster of herself Monday and said she hopes to become the pinup girl for California National Guardsmen in Latin America.

Like a lot of campaign material, however, Almodovar’s poster didn’t reveal all.

When an aide dramatically uncovered her likeness at the end of her press conference at the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, Almodovar, 36, was pictured in a bikini-type bathing suit while wearing boxing gloves held above her head in a victory pose.

“I was afraid to pose in the nude, because it might be a violation of my probation,” said Almodovar, who was convicted on a pandering charge in 1984.


It was the latest example of the decline of nude campaigning in California. In 1978, Ed Clark, a Libertarian candidate for governor, endorsed nudity in a speech at Black’s Beach in San Diego County but kept his own clothes on because his skin was “too tender.” No politician has appeared in public in the buff since 1974, when a Peace and Freedom candidate for governor spoke sans bathing suit at Venice Beach. (She was an anarchist.)

Almodovar said she chose a victory pose prematurely, because “the voters will elect me when they realize that with me in office the governor would never dare leave the state.” (State law makes the lieutenant governor chief executive in the absence of the governor.) Hence her campaign slogan: “Keep the governor at home. Elect Norma Jean.”

Seeking to become the first ex-prostitute elected to public office in California since Sausalito chose Sally Stanford as its mayor in 1976 (or at least the first to admit it), Almodovar said she aspires to the lieutenant governor’s office because “it’s totally superfluous.”

In fact, unlike many candidates, she refused to question the qualifications of her opponents, incumbent Lt. Gov. Leo McCarthy and Republican challenger Mike Curb. “Since there’s nothing for them to do, it would be hard for them not to be able to do the job,” she explained.


Almodovar said she joined the Libertarian party because of its philosophy of individual choice and a minimum of government interference. (In Houston, national Libertarian spokesman Terry Von Mitchell, asked if Almodovar meets the party standards, responded, “She does in California.”)

The candidate said if she were governor she would legalize prostitution (“and pardon myself”) and “bring the boys home from Central America.” In fact, while she plans to charge $20 for her posters ($100 for autographed copies), she said she’ll send one free to any National Guardsman stationed in Latin America.

(The only problem is that the only guardsmen in Central America--the 60 Air National Guard troops in Panama--are coming home next week, a Guard spokesman said.)

Almodovar was a traffic officer with the Los Angeles Police Department for 10 years before she quit in 1982 to become a call girl. Now she’s writing a book, “From Cop to Call Girl,” based on both jobs.


Almodovar likes to point out that after her arrest she was subjected to a psychiatric evaluation. “I’m the only one of the candidates who has a piece of paper certifying I’m not dangerous,” she boasted.

Her campaign already has drawn the attention of incumbent McCarthy.

Earlier this year, the lieutenant governor sent out a telegram appealing to all candidates for that office to keep their clothes on during the campaign.

No violations have been reported.