Nathan Hochman, a former assistant U.S. attorney, announced his bid for L.A. County District Attorney on Monday.
The former candidate for California Attorney General joins Deputy D.A. Jonathan Hatami and several others in the race to unseat District Attorney George Gascón.
Hochman is running as an independent and is endorsed by former D.A. Steve Cooley.
During a news conference outside the Hall of Justice, Hochman said Gascón has taken a “sledgehammer to justice” and that the cry to get rid of him is loud and passionate.
“What I have seen has disgusted me and disappointed me as to what George Gascón has done to have our County of Los Angeles, our county of the City of the Angels, start to evolve to a Gotham-esque dystopia where lawlessness reigns supreme,” Hochman said. “It’s time to stop playing politics with people’s lives.”
There’s been quite a bit of controversy surrounding Gascón since he took office in 2020. His own prosecutors and law enforcement leaders have criticized him for his progressive policies, including barring prosecutors from trying juveniles as adults and restricting the filing of sentencing enhancements.
Prior attempts to unseat Gascón, however, have been unsuccessful. He has retained support as he continues to pursue prosections of police officers for excessive force and on-duty misconduct.
Just last week, Gascón’s office charged seven California Highway Patrol officers and a registered nurse with involuntary manslaughter in the in-custody death of a DUI suspect.
The top prosecutor received a wide-range of endorsements from local, state and national democratic leaders in 2020.
The primary election for the district attorney won’t happen for about 11 months.