Former US Assistant Attorney General Nathan Hochman enters LA County DA's race

Josh Haskell Image
Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Former US assistant attorney general enters LA County DA's race
Nathan Hochman, a former U.S. assistant attorney general, announced he's running to unseat L.A. County DA George Gascón in the 2024 election.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The race for Los Angeles County district attorney is getting more crowded.

In November 2024, L.A. County will either vote to re-elect George Gascón or replace him with someone from a growing field of candidates.

Jonathan Hatami and John McKinney, both L.A. County deputy district attorneys, are already in the race.

On Monday, it was Nathan Hochman's turn. Although Hochman hasn't worked in the DAs office, he's a lifelong Angeleno and a former U.S. assistant attorney general.

"Gascón's blanket pro-criminal policies have been favoring criminals over victims. And those policies have not worked and have endangered the citizens of the county of Los Angles," Hochman said. "The problem with blanket policies is that they're lazy.

"George Gascón is lazy when it comes to dealing with crime in this state. Not only is he lazy, he's naive."

Hochman has been endorsed by three-term district attorney Steve Cooley, who is also not a fan of Gascón.

"He has done much to really destroy an otherwise good functioning system that was well oriented toward its true mention," Cooley said. "It is not that way now. It will be that way when Nathan Hochman is elected district attorney."

Hochman says he'll reverse many of Gascón's policies regarding incarceration, cash bail and enhancements. Hochman says these areas need reform, but called Gascón's moves too extreme.

"Right now, in this building behind me, George Gascón believes there are certain criminals and certain crimes that are on the books, but that he will not enforce the law. I will enforce the law," Hochman said.

Hochman, also a defense attorney, last ran against Rob Bonta for California attorney general as a Republican and lost. In the DAs race, Hochman says he's running as an independent because the L.A. County district attorney shouldn't be beholden to a political party.

Hochman said 97.8% of the over 800 deputy district attorneys who worked for Gascón supported his recall.

"If Gascón was the CEO of a public company and 97.8% of his employees thought he was doing such a bad job he should go," he said. "He either would have resigned of been fired from the board."

The primary for the race is almost one year away - next March - and then whoever moves on will face Gascón in November of 2024.