Del Olmo, a Mexican-American who was born and raised in California, said he was opposed to Wilson because of his support of Proposition 187 on the November ballot.
One of the most controversial measures in the state's history, it would cut off health, welfare and educational benefits to illegal aliens, except for emergency medical treatment. The Times has opposed Proposition 187.
Del Olmo's op-ed piece was published Oct. 31, a day after the publication of a Times editorial recommending Wilson's re-election.
The Times said both Wilson and his opponent, state Treasurer Kathleen Brown, had drawbacks but that ""on balance"" Wilson was the better candidate.
Noting that he had participated in the deliberations that led to the Wilson endorsement, del Olmo said his ""deeply held belief"" that Wilson did not deserve the endorsement ""unfortunately did not carry the day.""
""Under normal circumstances, I would quietly accept that decision and move on,"" he continued. ""This time I cannot . . . . ""
Del Olmo called Proposition 187 ""mean-spirited and unconstitutional.""
He charged Wilson with using the immigration issue in a ""desperate and cynical effort to win a second term.""
"Do,"" he explained,""I must protest against this awful and unnecessary Prop 187 campaign in the strongest way I know how-if only to live with my conscience after the voters render their judgement on both Wilson and Proposition 187 on Nove. 8.""
Times spokeswoman Laura Morgan said del Olmo had threatened to resign del Olmo had threatened to resign but was persudaed by editor Shelby Coffey III to take two weeks off and ""think about it.""
Morgan also confirmed a report that about 50 editorial staffers had protested Wilson's endorsement in a letter to publisher and CEO Richard Schlosberg Ill. A copy was sent to Coffey.
"This [Proposition 1887] is a very volatile issue and it's not unusual for people to disagree,"" Morgan said.
By: M.L. Stein FRANK DEL OLMO, deputy editor of the Los Angeles Times editorial pages, used the section to publish a bitter dissent to the Times' endorsement of incumbent Pete Wilson for governor.