LA County DA Now Has 11 Challengers for Role

( – The left wing of the Democratic Party is obsessed with legal reform and reducing the role of police and prisons in crime prevention. That obsession has led to many radical district attorneys being elected, giving us a chance to see how these legal theories work out in practice. Well, now we know — it’s been a disaster, and even liberals are turning away from these “progressive” experiments. One California DA is running for re-election this year and he’s facing no less than eleven challengers.

Gascón Has Been a Controversial DA

Cuban-born George Gascón, a former Los Angeles police officer and San Francisco police chief, was appointed as San Francisco District Attorney by then-mayor Gavin Newsom in 2011, replacing Kamala Harris in the job. He held the post for eight years, pushing an extreme liberal agenda. Among other things he restricted cash bail, downgraded many crimes from felonies to misdemeanors, decriminalized most offenses by minors, and loosened drug laws. The results were predictable but unimpressive; during his tenure property crime in the city rose by 49%.

When Gascón resigned and moved to Los Angeles in 2018 you’d have thought people would have realized his policies didn’t work, but apparently not. The next year he ran for DA of Los Angeles County. His campaign was backed by an array of far-left figures, including George Soros, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders — but it was strongly imposed by pro-law enforcement groups.

Nevertheless, he won the 2020 election and was sworn in as LA County’s new DA on November 6, 2020. He continued with the same policies that had failed in San Francisco, with similar results. His time in office has been marked by multiple scandals, including alleged intimidation of a whistleblower, and three recall attempts.

He’s now in the middle of a storm of criticism over out-of-control crime and his apparent bias towards offenders rather than victims, including a transgender child molester who was caught gloating about his light sentence. He’s obstructed the prosecution of young criminals and, as in San Francisco, presided over a sharp rise in property crime.

Challengers Line Up

Now Gascón wants to get re-elected, but opponents are lining up to challenge him. He’s now facing no fewer than 11 other candidates in the county’s nonpartisan primary. Significantly, two of them — Jonathan Hatami and Eric Siddall — are disgruntled prosecutors from his own office. Two more are former federal prosecutors.

With 12 candidates in total, it’s unlikely the primary will yield an overall winner. That means the top two candidates will go on to a runoff election in November. If Gascón wants to get re-elected he’ll need to hope crime falls before then.

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