Jackie Lacey lost the L.A. D.A. job to George Gascón. Now she’s endorsing his 2024 rival

Nathan Hochman and Jackie Lacey
Left, Nathan Hochman in Santa Monica. Right, former Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)
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L.A. County’s former top prosecutor, Jackie Lacey, announced her support Monday for Nathan Hochman in the 2024 district attorney’s race, telling voters it was time to oust the man who booted her from office four years ago, George Gascón.

Standing next to Hochman on her mother’s lawn at the edge of the Crenshaw district, Lacey said it was time to “excuse the current district attorney and elect someone with a conscience.”

“Criminals are more brazen because they know they have allies in that office … it is time to elect somebody who will be pro-active in making us safer,” she said. “I have watched as the current administration harmed our community by rolling out ill-conceived, poorly implemented, ham-fisted policies.”


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Lacey was both the county’s first female and first Black district attorney, serving two terms in office from 2012 to 2020 after working for decades as a county prosecutor. But her pursuit of a third term fell short when her history of declining to prosecute police officers in excessive force cases ran up against Gascón’s criminal justice reform agenda in the summer of 2020, after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and other killings sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.

For Hochman — a veteran attorney and former federal prosecutor who ran as a Republican in a failed bid for state attorney general in 2022 — the endorsement of a lifelong Democrat could be an important shield against criticisms that he’s too conservative for L.A. County. Hochman is running as an independent and has described his policies as “the hard middle,” but he’s also received significant contributions from Republican fundraisers and worked with a Republican firm that organized fundraisers for then-President Donald Trump in 2020. Hochman has said repeatedly he does not support Trump.

Lacey, however, urged voters to disregard political affiliations and focus on public safety matters. She argued that Gascón has abandoned crime victims and instituted policies that have contributed to an air of lawlessness in L.A.

“I’m speaking out because I know that job, I did it for eight years and I can spot malfeasance and incompetence,” she said.

Lacey also pointed to the prosecution of high-level Gascón advisor Diana Teran as a failure in her successor’s decision making.

“The mistake was made in not having the wisdom to put the right person in power in the first place,” Lacey said.


Early returns suggest Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. George Gascón will face former federal prosecutor Nathan Hochman in a November runoff.

March 7, 2024

Jamarah Hayner, Gascón’s chief political strategist, said the endorsement is a sign that Hochman will restore tough-on-crime policies that California legislators have been trying to steer away from.

“Mr. Hochman continues to struggle with attracting relevant support, instead relying on names like [former L.A. County Dist. Atty.] Steve Cooley and Jackie Lacey, whose political views voters have consistently rejected,” Hayner said.

Gascón has been endorsed by the L.A. County Democratic Party, the powerful county Federation of Labor and a number of well-known local politicians including U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Long Beach) and L.A. County supervisors Lindsay Horvath, Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell.

Since March, Hochman has been endorsed by two of his former primary opponents, Deputy Dist. Attys. John McKinney and Maria Ramirez.