Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas Monday endorsed George Gascon in the race for Los Angeles County district attorney, a day after Mayor Eric Garcetti’s announcement that he was dropping his endorsement of incumbent Jackie Lacey.
Using his campaign account, Ridley-Thomas tweeted at middday that he was endorsing Gascon.
“Our values and priorities are aligned when it comes to ending mass incarceration, investing in diversion, re-entry and real mental health solutions for the homeless,” he wrote. “I urge you to support him too.”
On Sunday evening, Garcetti tweeted that he was “proud to endorse @GeorgeGascon for L.A. District Attorney.”
In the wake of nationwide protests calling for criminal justice reforms after the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, opposition to Lacey, who is seeking a third term, has intensified. Critics say she has failed to prosecute police shootings, while Lacey says she has taken on every misconduct case she had a chance to win, including one fatal deputy-involved shooting.
Ridley-Thomas was the only one of the five county supervisors who did not endorse Lacey in the March primary, so this was not a matter of him pulling an endorsement.
It’s not the only time Ridley-Thomas — who is running for the 10th District seat on the Los Angeles City Council as he terms out of his county post — has broken ranks with his colleagues. He was the only supervisor, for example, not to endorse then-incumbent Sheriff Jim McDonnell when he was running against Alex Villanueva for that job in 2018.
Gascon served as San Francisco’s D.A. for eight years and has worked in the Los Angeles Police Department. He has received endorsements from national leaders such as Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
Lacey dismissed Garcetti’s endorsement as an attempt by Gascon to distract from his performance in their Saturday night debate, which she termed a `disaster,”’ according to the Los Angeles Times.
The incumbent has the support of her prosecutors, with the Association of Deputy District Attorneys highlighting her at the top of a list of endorsements the group released Monday.