LOS ANGELES – Today, George Gascón’s campaign released new poll results showing the first-time LA County candidate leading two-term incumbent District Attorney Jackie Lacey in the race to be LA’s next District Attorney.
“My team is energized, our volunteers are fired up, and we are seeing an outpouring of support from across LA county and across the country,” said former District Attorney and Assistant Chief of the LAPD, George Gascón. “These results are encouraging, but make no mistake–we’re just warming up.”
The poll, which was conducted from June 26 – July 6, 2020, surveyed 800 likely November 2020 election voters in Los Angeles County. It found a close and competitive race in which Gascón currently leads Lacey by a 3-point margin among definite voters, 35% to 32%, with 33% undecided.
After a majority of voters rejected Lacey in the March 3, 2020 primary election, Lacey faces an electorate that has grown increasingly skeptical of her hardline approach to criminal justice: The incumbent sends more people to prison per capita than 70 percent of California’s prosecutors, while presiding over an increase in violent crime of nearly 30 percent in the county, and 55 percent in the City of Los Angeles. By contrast, as San Francisco’s district attorney, Gascón sent 1/4 the number of people per capita that L.A.’s district attorney sends to prison, and violent crime went down.
Importantly, the poll found that voters strongly favor, “a candidate who refuses to take money from the police officers’ union to avoid any conflict in case an officer needs to be investigated for wrongdoing,” over “a candidate who is proud to be supported by police officers, including getting money from their union, because the police trust this candidate in fighting crime,” by a 54-point margin, with 7 in 10 voters (70%) choosing a candidate who is independent of police unions and just 16% preferring a candidate backed by police unions.
As thousands protest her unwillingness to hold police accountable, Jackie Lacey continues to benefit from millions of dollars in political spending by police unions. By contrast, Gascón has pledged to be an independent watchdog, swearing off such donations and working to ban the practice due to the massive conflict of interest. Further, Gascón has a record of independence on police accountability, having fought to change the law surrounding when police could use force, creating California’s first independent investigations bureau, and opening investigations into the San Francisco police department following two racist and homophobic text messaging scandals.
Turnout for the November 3rd 2020 election is projected to surge, with a particularly large increase among younger LA Democrats and Latinos, a dynamic poised to benefit the Democratic endorsed candidate. In the March primary progressive challengers George Gascón and Rachel Rossi combined to force Lacey into a runoff in a down ballot, low-turnout election. It was an outcome made possible by years of grassroots organizing in America’s most populous county by Angelenos seeking to call attention to Jackie Lacey’s record as District Attorney.
George Gascón is the Democratic Party’s nominee. He is endorsed by the LA Times, the LA Daily News, U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamal
Mr. Gascón grew up in Los Angeles after his family immigrated from Cuba. An army veteran, Gascón served as a Los Angeles Police Department Officer for 30 years, rising to the rank of Assistant Chief of Operations. In 2006 he became Chief of Police in Mesa, Arizona, where he stood up to the hateful and anti-immigrant policies of then Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In 2009, then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appointed Gascón Chief of Police. Newsom turned to Gascón again in 2011 when he tapped him to be District Attorney to fill the seat vacated by an outgoing Kamala Harris who had been elected Attorney General. During his tenure Gascón implemented reforms that are being duplicated across the country while overseeing violent crime and homicides drop to rates not seen in 50 years. After being elected to two terms, Gascón returned to Los Angeles to care for his elderly mother and to be closer to his two daughters and grandchildren in Long Beach. Gascón is married to Fabiola Kramsky, a three-time Emmy Award winning journalist and recipient of the “Premio Nacional de Periodismo,” the highest recognition given to journalists in Mexico.