Gascón Wrests District Attorney’s Post From Lacey
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Voter sentiment in favor of giving a “soft on crime” approach a try, though strong enough to bring victory to George Gascón in his challenge to District Attorney Jackie Lacey in her quest for a third term, was not so intense as to remove the allure of the title of “Deputy District Attorney” in judicial races, with prosecutors David Berger, Steve Morgan and Scott Yang winning seats on the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Partial returns yesterday afternoon left little doubt as to which candidates were the victors, though the percentages remain uncertain. Ballots postmarked by election day—Tuesday—will be counted if they arrive by Nov. 20.
Berger—who had 56.67 percent of the vote as of mid-afternoon yesterday—commented:
“I am delighted to report that the longest judicial campaign in the history of judicial elections has concluded successfully. After two failed bids to breach the bench, some would say a third attempt was unwise, perhaps even foolhardy. Add a pandemic combined with civil unrest into the equation, and the odds of success diminished daily.”
He remarked that “it does appear that the old adage ‘perseverance pays’ is borne out.”
Born in London
Berger, who was born in London and retains a British accent, added:
“I am extremely grateful to the Los Angeles County electorate for honoring me with their trust, and I am very proud to be the first elected English-American Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles County.”
The candidate expressed his gratitude to the METNEWS and the Los Angeles Times “for their unwavering endorsements” and to former District Attorney Steve Cooley “for his invaluable mentorship, advice and guidance.”
His opponent, Administrative Law Judge Klint Mkay, said, simply:
“I wish everyone the best.”
Yang, who garnered 53.34 percent of the ballots as of yesterday, said:
“The experience was emotionally tolling but completely worth it. I look forward to doing my best to serve the people of Los Angeles County. I am grateful to everyone who reached out to support us even with a kind word as it lifted us when we needed it most.”
His opponent was criminal defense lawyer David Diamond.
Diamond, who also lost a contest for a Superior Court seat two years ago, had this to say:
“I am pleased with the campaign that we ran. We worked hard to educate the public about my credentials which would qualify me to become a competent Judge. We stayed above the fray and ran an ethical campaign. As of early this morning, we received close to 1.2 million votes, almost 47% of the ballots, up from 31% in the primary.
“Thank you to our team for significantly closing the gap. I am so honored to have received the endorsement of so many judges, organizations, and reputable newspapers.
“I will continue my legal journey and hope to see the Election Code amended, which currently allows government employees (i.e. prosecutors) to list their ballot title as Deputy District Attorney, County of xxxxx, while relegating the rest of us to use generic and non-descript titles such as ‘attorney’ or ‘attorney at law’ on the ballot.”
“After a vigorous contest, I’m honored to have been given the opportunity to serve the citizens of Los Angeles County as a Superior Court Judge.”
With 52.27 percent of the vote as of yesterday’s tally, he apparently defeated South Dakota law professor Myanna Dellinger.
Gascón was winning yesterday with 53.81 percent of the ballots. A former Los Angeles police officer, he resigned as San Francisco District Attorney last year to run against Lacey.
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