2020 Will Feature Important DA Races in L.A. and San Francisco

Jackie Lacey has been L.A. County’s top prosecutor for the past seven years. Her last election was in 2016 and she ran unopposed. This time around, Lacey is facing tough opposition from not one, but two of her own deputies.

The Los Angeles Times calls Lacey’s bid for a third term the most important election in 2020 aside from the presidential race.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office is the nation’s largest local prosecutorial agency by far. Its caseload, together with L.A.’s position as a capital of innovation and a breeding ground for political movements, put the L.A. D.A.’s office in a position to influence justice policy not just here but throughout California and, arguably, around the nation. Practices established in L.A. may well set the course for dealing with homelessness, mental health care, policing and public safety everywhere.

Lacey’s isn’t the only big DA race in California. In San Francisco, several candidates are vying to replace George Gascon: interim DA Suzy Loftus, public defender Chesa Boudin, and prosecutors Nancy Tung and Leif Dautch. 

Though hundreds of miles apart, both counties’ district attorney candidates will face similar questions about criminal reform measures, excessive force, racial bias in policing and more.

To be sure, the DA races are ones to watch.