L.A. D.A. Race: Incumbent Jackie Lacey Concedes To George Gascon In Hard-Fought Election

Dominic Patten
·4 min read

UPDATE, 11:19 AM: After a hard fought election and eight years in office, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has just conceded to George Gascón.

Noting the ” contentious fight” and fighting back tears, the first African-American woman elected to the powerful prosecution office recognized that the votes simply weren’t there for her.

“In fighting to stay in office we faced a tsunami of money,” a clearly angry Lacey made a point of noting. The likes of Netflix’s co-CEO and others boosted Gascón with a war chest of $5 million greater than Lacey, who was mainly backed by police unions.

Overall, the L.A. D.A. race exceeded $13 million, a record in the region for the office.

“The results of this election is the result of this season of our discount and wanting to see a tsunami of change,” Lacey added. Listing off the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, the now outgoing L.A. D.A. made a point of noting the seemingly shifting attitudes on racial justice in America over the past few months.

Long the target of criticism by Black Lives Matter and others for almost never charging law enforcement over acts of violence, Lacy also made a point of defending the police as both an entity and a career.

Lacey did not take any questions after making her statement at the Hall of Justice in DTLA this morning.

PREVIOUSLY, 10:58 AM: While the race to become the next District Attorney of Los Angeles County has not been officially called, George Gascón increasingly looks likely to defeat incumbent Jackie Lacey’s bid for a third term.

With thousands of ballots to come in throughout the region, Gascón is ahead of Lacey by 229,022 votes. The challenger has held a pretty steady lead of around 53% to Lacey’s 46% since the November 3 election.

The first woman of color elected to the powerful L.A. D.A. office, Lacey has scheduled a DTLA press conference at 11 AM today “about the future of the office.” Whether that future involves a concession or continuing to wait for more votes to be counted remains to be seen.

For the Gascón team, the numbers speak clearly.

“Like the rest of LA county and the nation we are watching the results come in, and we remain very optimistic as our lead continues to hold,” Gascón campaign manager Jamarah Hayner told Deadline. “At some point soon the math will make it clear that real criminal justice reform is finally coming to Los Angeles County.”

Fueled by big donations from Netflix’s Reed Hastings and other Hollywood luminaries, the former San Francisco D.A. and ex-LAPD officer has also benefited from a drumbeat of criticism from Black Lives Matter and other groups over Lacey’s close relationship with police unions and her slim record on prosecuting police violence.

Coming up short in the spring primary, Lacey, who ran unopposed last time, was forced into a runoff as issues of racial justice and police brutality captured the nation’s attention in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others.

Long reluctant, to put it mildly, to bring charges against law enforcement over her tenure, Lacey saw influential names like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti rescind their previously proclaimed support of her and attach themselves to Gascón’s banner. Also on that shift list, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), whose district covers large swaths of Hollywood, pulled back his previous endorsement of Lacey this summer.

On October 20, Dr. Melina Abdullah and two other members of LA BLM sued Lacey and her husband for an incident in March when David Lacey waved a gun and threatened protesters in front of the couple’s Granada Hills, CA home. David Lacey is facing three misdemeanor counts of assault with a firearm over the matter.

On election night, the LAPD made a point of breaking up a peaceful BLM gathering down near the Staples Center.

As well as the nationally watched race for the LA County D.A. office, November 3 also saw a number of other hot ticket contests on the ballot for the Golden State.

Statewide, Californians voted on a dozen wide-ranging propositions, the most high-profile of which may have been Proposition 22, which pitted Uber and Lyft against the state and labor unions in a battle over a law giving protections to gig workers. According to the New York Times, the digital giants spent over $200 million to support the proposition, which made sure ride share drivers were classified as independent contractors. It passed overwhelmingly.

Proposition 21 was another big-ticket measure. It would have expanded cities’ ability to mandate rent control. It sought to address the state’s homelessness problem and the associated issue of housing costs, but voters rejected it. The measure was rejected by 60% of state voters.

Proposition 16 would have overturned a longtime state ban on affirmative action, but it also failed.

Tom Tapp contributed to this report

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