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Meet The Candidates Running To Unseat George Gascón

Incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón faces stiff competition in the March 5 primary, according to polls.

Left-wing billionaire George Soros financially supports Gascón, and Soros' critics say accused They accused him of contributing to the decline in public order in Los Angeles. Gascon is currently leading the race, but face There are 11 main opponents, five of whom support him by less than 13 points. (Related: Los Angeles Police Department vows to abolish cash bail and death penalty as shootings and murders increase across the city)

Fifteen percent of likely voters have indicated they intend to vote for Gascón, but most are undecided. according to To the California Elections and Policy Poll. Five of Gascón's 11 main opponents received support ranging from 2% to 8%.

Gascón's policies include rejecting “gang enhancements” and other methods of lengthening sentences, not prosecuting most juvenile defendants as adults, promoting cashless bail, and refusing to prosecute many misdemeanors. It consists of according to In the New York Times. He will take office in December 2020 and his term will end in December 2024.

“Based on data and science, I have introduced a series of reforms that increase safety while reducing racial disparities and the abuses of incarceration,” Gascon said. claimed After his first 100 days in office. “Our work to transform outdated approaches that create more crime, more victims, and more inequality has only just begun.”

However, property crimes such as auto theft and robbery increased significantly under the Gascon administration, according to the NYT.

Gascón's leading rival is Jonathan Hatami, who polls at 8% and previously served as Gascón's deputy district attorney. according to Visit his campaign website. Mr. Hatami is a former child abuse prosecutor.

“There's a society in Los Angeles right now that feels really unsafe,” John Hatami said during a January debate. according to Local news station LAist.

According to his website, immediately after taking office as district attorney on December 15, 2020, Gascón ordered Khatami to “drop charges in the case of a girl who was tortured and murdered by her parents and take a preliminary strike.'' ” he reportedly ordered. Mr. Khatami refused and slammed Mr. Gascón in an interview with ABC7 the next day. saying“I don't understand why we don't try to prosecute child murderers to the fullest extent of the law.”

According to the NYT, the top two candidates will advance to the November general election unless one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote.

Nathan Hockman has 4% support and is a prosecutor. according to Visit his campaign website. Hochman previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney general, but lost the 2022 race to become California's attorney general as a Republican candidate.

“On my first day in office, I'm going to make it clear to the public and to criminals that the golden age of criminals is over,” Hochman told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I will eliminate all of Gascón's sweeping pro-crime policies and remove the handcuffs Gascón has placed on more than 900 prosecutors, returning them to criminals.”

“I care more about victims than criminals, and every decision I make as district attorney is aimed at protecting the public, not criminals,” he added.

Homelessness has also been an issue in Los Angeles under the Gascon administration, with 47,000 homeless people currently living there and the city spending more than $1 billion each year to address the problem. He says his office's only role in this crisis is to prosecute homeless people when they commit crimes. Said At the January debate.

Jeff Chemerinski, polled at 2%, is an assistant U.S. attorney who served as head of the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's Office's Violent and Organized Crime Unit before starting his campaign. according to Visit his campaign website. Chemerinsky has won convictions for more than 30 MS-13 gang members and numerous large-scale organized retail theft cases. Website state.

“I want to work with law enforcement and restore a sense of partnership that I think is currently missing,” Chemerinsky said during a January debate, according to LAist.

Craig Mitchell, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge and former prosecutor, also owns 2%. according to Visit his campaign website.

“Property crime has increased significantly. The number of violent crimes is unacceptable. Many of these crimes are rooted in people suffering from addiction and mental illness. I've been able to deal with addiction and mental illness in a way that other candidates cannot. My work as a Superior Court judge for the past 18 and a half years, combined with my work on Skid Row for the past 13 years, …If we don't meaningfully address addiction, we're not going to see any measurable reductions in crime,” Mitchell told DCNF.

Finally, Maria Ramirez also holds 2% and is a deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. according to Visit her campaign website. As Director of Special Prosecutions, she oversaw the operations of seven criminal divisions, including “Hardcore Gangs'' and “Sex Crimes''.

“George Gascón is a failure as a leader because he fails to consider the real impact of his policies on the safety and well-being of our communities,” Ramirez told DCNF. “He has systematically failed to consult with employees and law enforcement to involve them in decision-making and the effective implementation of public safety policies. 'Reformist.' Despite being labeled as such, Gascón has been unable to achieve real reforms to improve the system. ”

Soros donated $4.7 million in 2020 to political action committees backing Gascón. according to Donations will be made to the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. Gascón took office in December 2020 and faced a recall campaign over crime policies in 2022, which survived until August after a petition did not meet the required number of signatures.

Out of a total of 715,833 signatures, 195,783 were invalid. according to Go to the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's News Release. The petition needed 566,857 signatures to qualify.

Gascón, Khatami and Cheliminsky did not respond to DCNF's requests for comment.

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