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Los Angeles County DA Gascón running for re-election amid concerns about crime rather than reform

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón is running for re-election under a different climate since taking office in late 2020 amid calls for justice reform.

In 2020, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón was elected amid a wave of calls for reforms by promising to make the criminal justice system more fair and equitable and holding police accountable. 

In the years since, he's faced two recall attempts and scathing criticism from police groups, crime victims and some of his own prosecutors for his progressive policies that critics say make Los Angeles County less safe. 

Many have pointed to his refusal to charge guns, gangs and other sentencing enhancements against criminals. In response to his policies, multiple cities have issue "no confidence" votes against Gascón.


Since taking office just over three years ago, Los Angeles County now has a "major public safety crisis," Jonathan Hatami, a child abuse prosecutor under Gascón, told Fox News Digital. 

"A lot of people are feeling fear in many things," said Hatami, who is running to unseat his boss. "Because of these policies, there is a large group of individuals who have committed repeat offenses over and over again." 

Gascón, 69, now faces a much different election climate as concerns remain about how to combat crime. In the years since taking office in December 2020, Los Angeles County has seen the smash-and-grab robbery trend grow as well as follow-home robberies and other organized retail thefts.

In Los Angeles, while violent crimes like murder and rapes are down slightly, property crimes, such as burglary and auto theft, have increased.


On Thursday, Gascón was scheduled to face off in a debate with 10 other candidates to become the head of the nation's largest district attorney's office. Many are running to the right of him, but Gascón has also found opposition from disenchanted liberals who simply want criminals prosecuted. 

"I call myself a bleeding heart liberal, anti-gun and voted for Gascón because I thought he was going to be sensible and make reforms like he promised," said one former supporter, who wanted to remain anonymous because she is involved in Democrat party politics, told the New York Post last year. 

The key to unseating Gascón is to run on the issues but also not come off as right-wing, Dep. District Attorney Eric Siddall said, given the liberal dominance of Los Angeles County politics. 

"I know it's different this time," Siddall said. "If the right candidate goes against him in the general election, someone that is more of a moderate, not an extremist, someone that is not promising to roll back the clock — I don't think he has a chance in November."

Aside from low morale among prosecutors, Gascón's office is in a state of general confusion among the deputy district attorneys, and even defense lawyers, about how cases are being settled, Siddall said. 

Fox News Digital has reached out to Gascón.

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