Gov. Gavin Newsom endorses George Gascón in Los Angeles County D.A.’s race

California's unemployment agency problems could be a key issue in the Sept. 14 recall election.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, above, has endorsed George Gascón in the Los Angeles County district attorney’s race.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Gavin Newsom endorsed George Gascón on Tuesday in his bid to become Los Angeles County district attorney, marking the political reunion of two former Bay Area allies.

As San Francisco’s mayor, Newsom appointed Gascón police chief and later district attorney, so the endorsement is hardly a surprise. But it marks the latest in a raft of high-profile endorsements picked up by Gascón this summer as a national debate about criminal justice reform has energized his attempt to unseat Jackie Lacey as the county’s top prosecutor.

“This November Angelenos will choose who to turn to as calls to re-imagine our dated system of justice grow louder, and I urge them to join me once again in turning to George Gascón,” Newsom said in a statement.

Lacey became Los Angeles’ first Black district attorney in 2012 and is seeking a third-term helming the nation’s busiest district attorney’s office. But she has been the target of near constant criticism from Black Lives Matter organizers and other progressive groups calling for an overhaul of the criminal justice system. Gascón, meanwhile, has positioned himself as a reform candidate and represents a nationwide push to elect more progressive prosecutors.


In recent months, vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have endorsed Gascón. U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) rescinded their endorsements of Lacey — who is often criticized by activists for her hesitancy to prosecute officers involved in shootings — amid protests against police brutality.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also seemed to walk back his endorsement of Lacey, saying in a June interview that “it may be” time for a change in the district attorney’s office. He has not endorsed Gascón.

Lacey still enjoys support from a broad array of law enforcement unions and elected officials including Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and four members of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. San Francisco Mayor London Breed also spurned Gascón to endorse Lacey last year.