INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — As he spoke to more than 2,000 members of the National Sheriffs’ Association on Tuesday, John McCain earned the endorsement of one deputy sheriff more famous for his on-air performance as a cop — Erik Estrada.
After the event, FOX News caught up with Estrada, known for his role as Francis “Ponch” Poncherello on the late 1970s TV show CHiPs.
“I always admired him and I consider him one of my heroes because of what he has been through, the fact also that he is a loving father, terrific husband from what I hear. And he’s a good man, he’s a man’s man and I want to support him and I want him to be my next president. And I will do what I possibly can,” Estrada said.
Asked why he is supporting McCain, Estrada said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee best aligns with the issues closest to him
“Law enforcement, number one. … The welfare of children, which is my biggest concern and passion. And the fact that he has had experience and he has been situations that no other candidate at hand has been in and he has come out with flying colors,” Estrada said, adding that he is planning to host a $250,000-plus fundraiser for McCain in Laguna Beach, Calif.
Estrada paused for a few moments of silence and did not answer a question about whether he supported McCain during the primary.
On a brief career note–Estrada is now a full-time deputy sheriff in Bedford County, Va., and serves part time for the Muncie, Ind., police department.
“I am a law enforcement officer first now. Before I was an actor playing a cop and now I am a cop who will act once in a while,” he said, noting that his fans can still call him “Ponch.”