San Francisco’s mayor and city attorney waded Thursday into the competitive Los Angeles County district attorney’s race, publicly backing incumbent Jackie Lacey over their city’s former district attorney, George Gascón.
Lacey has received a litany of endorsements from state and regional politicians as she seeks a third term running the nation’s largest local prosecutor’s office. But the support of Mayor London Breed and Dennis Herrera, San Francisco’s longtime city attorney, is also a tacit rebuke of Gascón, a former San Francisco police chief who gained a national reputation for championing criminal justice reforms.
As San Francisco’s top prosecutor, Gascón co-authored Prop. 47, the ballot initiative that lowered punishments for nonviolent crime, tried to curb racial bias by prosecutors evaluating cases, expunged low-level marijuana convictions and pushed to end cash bail.
Yet after Breed was elected mayor in 2018, she blamed Gascón and his posture of reform for the rash of car break-ins and other street problems that have dogged San Francisco, even as the city experienced a sharp drop in violent crime. While naming an interim prosecutor to take over after Gascón stepped down to run in L.A., Breed maintained there was growing frustration for “the endless cycle of people getting arrested for dealing drugs, or breaking into cars, only to be released back out on the streets.”
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