LA DA's Race 2020

George Gascón & Jackie Lacey Will Now Face Each Other in November to See Who Will Be LA County’s Next DA

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

As of Friday night, March 20, approximately 34,328 LA County ballots still remain to be counted, yet when it comes to the first part of the race for district attorney…the waiting is now over.

The result is that two-term Los Angeles County DA, Jackie Lacey, will battle George Gascón, the former DA of San Francisco (and former chief of two police departments, and once second-in-command at the LAPD), to find out who will lead the LA County District Attorney’s’ office into the future.

Jackie Lacey, two-term District Attorney of Los Angeles County

With 863,303 votes, Lacey came close to having the necessary 50 percent plus one to win outright without a runoff.

But, save for the very first count that was released on election night, Lacey has continued to drift farther away from that magic percentage, with her slice of the pie getting smaller with each ballot tally, if only by a sliver.

Today, Friday, Lacey had 48.71 percent of the vote—which means that it is no longer possible to get the percentage that she needs to end the race at the primary level.

George Gascón, Former San Francisco District Attorney, former Mesa, AZ Chief of Police, former Chief of SFPD, former 1st Assistant Chief of LAPD

Gascón, who has remained in second place throughout the contest, now has 499,182 votes, totaling 28.20 percent of the ballots cast in the race.

Lacey’s other challenger, former public defender Rachel Rossi, has 23.09 percent or 408,689 votes.

This means that 51.29 percent of LA County voters marked 907,871 ballots for someone other than Lacey.

“A majority of Angelenos rejected the status-quo in favor of a modern system of justice,” said Gascón in a statement released shortly after the count became public.

“Over the next 228 days, our mission will be to convince every voter that healthier, safer communities are a product of leaders willing to lean on data and science. We can no longer afford-either socially or economically-for our barometer of justice to simply revolve around punishment.”

Rachel Rossi, former public defender serving in L.A.’s state and federal courts

While not qualifying to advance to the next step of the race, Rossi too put out her own statement. “I am humbled that over 400,000 Los Angeles County voters made me their choice for L.A. County District Attorney,” she wrote. “While we didn’t qualify for the runoff, we are still victorious today. Our campaign allowed L.A. to dream bigger”

In her statement, Lacey references the global emergency that LA County, along with the rest of the nation, finds itself facing.  ““In these uncertain times of global crisis,” she said, “it’s all the more important that we have a real conversation about keeping our community safe, and I look forward to continuing that conversation in November.”


  • Important point to ponder: 51.29% of the electorate voted against Lacey. If that figure holds Gascon will be our new D.A. in November.

  • Interesting indeed, especially when one ponders the differences between the Rossi & Gascon camps–not much discernible here; they all pretty much espouse the same thing.

    Looks like Gascon is going to be our next D.A.

  • Given the current covid emergency I believe the results of this election will be a moot point as far as predicting the election in November. It’s going to be interesting to see if L.A. looses some if it’s enthusiasm for progressive politics.

  • A couple things about the COVID-19 emergency:

    1. Most people who get it recover; most people with bad outcomes–the ones who die–are mostly elderly with separate underlying medical problems.

    2. Though there is as yet no treatment for coronavirus top scientists are working feverishly to rectify that problem; it’s just a matter of time before a viable treatment is found.

    3. Though it is deeply contagious it looks like appropriate steps have been taken to contain the contagion; we’ll see May 1st, when the containment is scheduled to be lifted.

    UPSHOT: all of this will pass & fade into a hopefully distant memory & November will yield a by-the-seatpants election.

  • Let’s keep it real, folks. Lacey will win in November easily. Her 48.71% of the vote is her starting point, and she only has to siphon off a very small portion of Rossi’s votes. Gascon, on the other hand, needs virtually 98% of Rossi’s votes, which is extremely unlikely. Anyone who voted for Lacey will vote for her again, period. Can’t say the same for the Gascon/Rossi combo, and there will be defections in that camp.

  • Different dynamics entirely. McD suffered defections, no union support, while Villanueva was able to assemble a winning coalition. I don’t see Gascon doing that, IMO.

  • Keep Dreaming: I disagree. You don’t think Gascon can energize the same “progressive forces” that elected AV? SEIU? Los Angeles Democratic Party? BLM and their offshoots? There is also a split inside the DAs Office. 51% of the voters didnt vote for Lacey. Time will tell but I think Lacey is most definitely vulnerable. LA could easily become SF and we all know how that worked out.

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