Progressives See Prosecutor Hopes Dashed in Tuesday’s Elections
One of the biggest questions in Tuesday’s election was whether a burgeoning social justice movement, bolstered by millions in outside spending, would usher in a wave of progressive district attorneys in California.
So far, it appears the answer is no.
Progressive hopes were dashed as sitting DA after sitting DA held onto the reins of power, despite accusations that they have been too cozy with law enforcement or that they stand in the way of much needed criminal justice reforms.
San Diego’s Summer Stephan ended with a commanding lead over her challenger Genevieve Jones-Wright, despite millions of dollars spent to oust the interim DA. Sacramento District Attorney Anne-Marie Schubert, who was also being targeted by Black Lives Matter and PACs linked to George Soros, has declared victory over her opponent Noah Phillips. Similarly, Alameda’s Nancy O’Malley triumphed over her challenger, civil rights activist Pamela Price.
Another blow to the social justice cause came in Contra Costa County where interim DA Diana Becton -- this time, backed by progressive groups -- did not secure enough votes to avoid a runoff. She will have to face senior deputy district attorney and law-and-order stalwart Paul Graves in November.
Elsewhere, intracounty clashes and local scandals colored the races for district attorney. In San Bernardino, DA Michael Ramos was defeated by challenger Jason Anderson, 52.98% to 47.02%. Ramos’ loss followed his unsuccessful prosecution of several former county employees in what could be called San Bernardino’s corruption trial of the century.
In Orange County, Supervisor Todd Spitzer mustered more than enough votes to challenge District Attorney Tony Rackackus this fall. Amid ever mounting accusations of misconduct, the county's top prosecutor eked out a lead of just 4.2%.