Hatami concedes in DA race, confirming Gascón to face Hochman in November

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Friday, March 8, 2024
LA DA's race: Incumbent Gascón to face challenger Hochman in November
With no candidate exceeding 50% in a crowded primary, incumbent George Gascón will face off in November against former federal prosecutor Nathan Hochman in the Los Angeles District Attorney's race.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With results showing him likely finishing in third place, Jonathan Hatami conceded in the Los Angeles County District Attorney's race on Thursday, confirming that incumbent George Gascón will face off in November against former federal prosecutor Nathan Hochman.

With no candidate earning more than 50% of the vote in Tuesday's primary, the top two vote-getters advance to the November general election.

As of Thursday night, results from the county registrar indicate Gascón took more than 227,000 votes, or about 23% of the total, while Hochman stood at just over 17% with 172,000 votes. More than two-thirds of the ballots cast have been counted so far.

Gascón was facing a field of 11 challengers after a controversial first term in office in which critics accused him of being soft on crime.

Hochman told Eyewitness News he expects much of the support behind the other candidates to coalesce behind his own effort now that it's a two-man race, as most of those challengers represented anti-Gascón sentiments.

"The polling results show something further: In a head-to-head matchup between myself and George Gascón in the general election, I beat him by 25 points," Hochman said.

Gascón, however, noted that he did finish first even with all those challengers and there's no guarantee that every supporter of those other candidates will rally behind his opponent.

"First of all look, it was very low voter turnout," Gascón said. "Number two, I came out number one in a 12-way race."

Hochman was previously registered as a Republican, running on that party's ticket in the 2022 California attorney general election against Democrat Rob Bonta. He is now running as an independent in the nonpartisan DA's race.

Gascón emphasized that his opponent stands for Republican Party ideals, an affiliation which may work against him in heavily Democratic Los Angeles County.

Hatami, who works as a prosecutor in Gascón's office, has clashed repeatedly with his boss. He finished third in Tuesday's tally, with about 131,000 votes so far.

Hatami issued a concession statement thanking his supporters and promising he would continue his fight on issues, particularly his work prosecuting child-abuse cases.

"My fight for justice doesn't end with this race," Hatami said. "Neither should yours. We are a team and always will be. I'm already back at work and I'll keep fighting for children and the most vulnerable in our community. Keep your voice loud for victims, survivors, children, families, first responders, law enforcement, and the community. Don't ever stop fighting for what's right and just. And, don't ever stop fighting for the children."