Hot on the heels of the Los Angeles County Democrats’ own endorsement of former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon over incumbent DA Jackie Lacey, Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos pulled out of the L.A. County District Attorney’s race Thursday and also endorsed Gascon.
“I’ve been a DA for over 30 years, and in that time I’ve seen the world change and the field of prosecution progress, but the DA’s office under Jackie Lacey’s leadership has remained stagnant,” Ceballos, who prosecutes hate crimes and organized crime, said in a statement. “Gascon has taken a hard stance against dangerous people, but he’s developed modern programs and policies to deal with everyone else. That modern approach produces better outcomes, enhances justice, and reduces racial disparities. I’m proud to support George for DA.”
Gascon, a former Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief, said, “I applaud Richard’s leadership and welcome his partnership in the movement to bring reform to LA.”
Much of the race has centered around Lacey’s qualifications as a reformer, or lack thereof. Both Gascon and Ceballos have campaigned as progressives, while Lacey has banked on her support from powerful elected figures, including Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Burbank, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and four members of the county Board of Supervisors.
Former federal and state public defender Rachel Rossi remains in the race. The only candidate who does not come from a law enforcement background, Rossi has said she would implement reforms and diversionary programs that would help keep low-level offenders and mentally ill defendants out of the jail system.