District Attorney George Gascon is reportedly looking to run for DA in Los Angeles. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SF DA George Gascon could enter Los Angeles race

Gascon could challenge Jackie Lacey for DA in his hometown

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon confirmed Friday that he is considering running for district attorney in Los Angeles.

The news comes months after Gascon announced that he will not be seeking reelection to a third term in San Francisco, citing his mother’s failing health. The November race will be The City’s first district attorney’s race in decades without an incumbent in the running, the San Francisco Examiner reported previously.

Gascon in a statement to the Examiner indicated that he has yet to make a final decision.

“This is a big decision for me and it is one I will ultimately be making in consultation with my family, but I am both proud and humbled that so many Angelinos have encouraged me to bring a data-driven vision of public safety and racial equity back to my home town of Los Angeles,” Gascon said.

Should Gascon enter the race, the former Los Angeles police officer would be vying to unseat incumbent Jackie Lacey, the city’s first African American and female DA.

A refugee from Cuba, Gascon was raised in Los Angeles and after dropping out of high school rose through the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department before serving as police chief in Mesa, Arizona.

In 2009, he was hired by then-mayor Gavin Newsom as San Francisco’s police chief. Two years later, Gascon was appointed as district attorney, becoming the first police chief in the nation to rise to that position.

In San Francisco, Gascon’s legacy includes advocating for the reform of the money bail system and co-authoring Proposition 47, a 2014 criminal justice reform initiative that reduced certain crimes to misdemeanors, including personal drug possession, among other things.

That measure faced criticism from the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association, who alleged it contributed to a rise in property crime.

“While the one-size-fits-all strategy to prosecution is politically safe, in San Francisco we’ve proven that there are alternatives that yield better results for community safety and fairness, and that don’t devastate budgets and entire generations of brown and black men,” said Gascon.

Gascon also faced attacks from activists and members of local black and brown communities for failing to bring charges against police officers involved in fatal shootings of civilians.

lwaxmann@sfexaminer.com

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