Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, April 25, 2023


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Judge Craig Mitchell Is Probable Candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney

Eric Siddall, Jeffrey Chemerinsky Believed to Be on Verge of Entering Race


By a MetNews Staff Writer



Los Angeles Superior Court Judge


Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Mitchell is edging toward a declaration of candidacy for the post of Los Angeles County district attorney, speaking now in terms of “when” he enters the race rather than if.”

Others who are believed to be readying to announce bids to run for the post in next year’s primary are Association of Deputy District Attorneys Vice President Eric Siddall, a vocal and articulate detractor of controversial incumbent George Gascón, and Jeffrey M. Chemerinsky who, though an obscure assistant U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, has a surname that is apt to be familiar to voters. He is the son of legal commentator/author Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the law school at UC Berkeley.

The elder Chemerinsky is a supporter of Gascón who was a member of his transition committee.

Also viewed as a possible contender is Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Debra Archuleta.

Mitchell’s Comments

In a July 19 email, in response to an inquiry from the METNEWS, Mitchell said:

“I am seriously considering running.  I have not made a definitive decision.”

However, yesterday, in reply to a fresh inquiry, he wrote:

“It is very likely that I will be running for DA.  Should that occur, I would take a leave of absence from the bench beginning in July.  Obviously, when my candidacy becomes official, I will be happy to speak to you at length as to what future I envision for the District Attorney’s office.”

Mitchell taught high school for more than 16 years before becoming an attorney. He joined the District Attorney’s Office in 1994.

Appointed to Bench

In 2004, he unsuccessfully ran for a Los Angeles Superior Court open seat and did not make it into the run-off. He was appointed to his post the following year by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

His law degree is from Southwestern.

Already declared as candidates are Deputy District Attorneys Maria Ramirez, Jonathan Hatami, and John McKinney and former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Nathan J. Hochman, now of the Century City law firm of Ross LLP.

At this early stage, Hochman—who last year ran unsuccessfully as the Republican nominee for state attorney general and is now an independent—already has garnered endorsements. He is supported by former Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley and former U.S. Attorneys for the Central District of California Robert Bonner, Debra Yang and Sandra Brown.

Ramirez and McKinney each has a fundraiser set for Thursday. Ramirez’s will take place at a home in Long Beach and McKinney’s will be at The Treehouse in Chinatown.


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