Gascón, amid reelection bid, says 'We're in a much better place today than we were four years ago'

The incumbent Los Angeles County district attorney is facing 11 challengers as he seeks reelection.

Josh Haskell Image
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Gascón says 'We're in a much better place'
In an interview with ABC7, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon "We're in a much better place today than we were four years ago."

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In an interview with ABC7 on Monday, incumbent Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, who is seeking reelection, said "We're in a much better place today than we were four years ago."

Gascón faces a record number of challengers -- 11 -- in the primary next month as he seeks a second term. Gascón's challengers have run campaigns against the incumbent rather than against one another, and the large field could help Gascón.

Why so many candidates? A USC-Dornsife poll conducted last month found 51% of voters disapprove of the job Gascón is doing.

"We're dealing with violence, and in fact violence has come down which clearly indicates that the work were doing doesn't cause crime to go up," said Gascón. "We're also addressing the issues of over-incarceration, issues of equity within the system. That creates a certain level of anxiety for some people. And for some people, it creates an opportunity."

According to Gascón, all of his challengers want to take us backwards, but he believes the reforms he's brought to L.A. County will result in crime continuing to go down after it went up during the pandemic. Gascón admits he got off to a rough start.

"A very difficult first year," said Gascón. "We're not there anymore, and a lot of what you see right now is still people thinking about what happened in 2021 as opposed to what is happening in 2024."

But property crime, smash and grab robberies, and the proliferation of homeless encampments are some of the reasons why residents of L.A. County say they still don't feel safe. Some believe Gascón favors criminals over victims.

"It's not that we're not prosecuting or sending people to prison," said Gascón. "People may be going now for 5, 10, 15 20 years as opposed to 30,40,50, but they're in prison. Even if you're of the belief that I was wrong in that approach, you're going to have to wait several years to see how that plays out. Right now, all the signs that we know about lengthy incarceration shows we're probably heading in the right direction."

The primary is several months away, and many eyes are on the race to replace Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.

Gascón believes he gets blamed for many issues that are not under his jurisdiction, saying he doesn't have a stack of misdemeanors sitting on his desk and he doesn't believe Proposition 47 has made us less safe. He also maintains he's not responsible for the homeless crisis.

"Until we create more housing, until we deal with the issues of mental health, neither the city attorney or district attorney will be able to cure these problems," said Gascón.

If a candidate in the D.A.'s race doesn't receive more than 50% of the vote in the march 5th primary, there will be a runoff between the top two finishers. It's highly unlikely a candidate will receive more than 50% because of how large the field is.