D.A. candidate Lacey sees message in voters' rejection of Trutanich
Veteran prosecutor Jackie Lacey, who emerged on top of the race to become Los Angeles County's next district attorney, said Wednesday voters were sending a message they cared about issues and will not be influenced by hefty campaign spending.
"The voters are saying the D.A.'s office is not for sale, it's not like any other political office," said Lacey, who took 32% of the votes and in November's runoff will face fellow prosecutor Alan Jackson, who won nearly 24% of the votes. The two candidates led the votes in a surprising upset over L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, who raised $1.5 million for the race and secured high-profile endorsements.
"It's a great country when the person who raises the most money doesn't win," she said.
Lacey said she was concerned and intimidated "for a minute" at Trutanich's endorsements, particularly when Gov. Jerry Brown backed the city attorney. "That was an interesting decision," she said. She said her campaign then chose to move forward and put "one foot in front of the other."
She said she would be scrambling to get endorsements from Brown, Sheriff Lee Baca and labor.
"We are making calls as we speak," she said. "Given what I've read about the sheriff's plans in the jails, and what the governor intends to do, we need to work as a team and we need to start today."
Had she faced Trutanich in the runoff, Lacey said the campaign could have taken a turn for the nasty and that there could have been "blood on the walls."
With Jackson, Lacey said their differences were on the issues and that the race would be a more civil one.
Trutanich, she said, made many missteps in his campaign, particularly his decision to run despite having pledged in 2009 that he would not run for another office until he had served two terms as city attorney.
She said Jackson is a great prosecutor but said leadership is a different skill than arguing in court. She noted Jackson plans on shipping inmates out of state to address prison realignment but she believes the solution is in alternatives to sentencing program.
-- Victoria Kim
Photo: Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey held a news conference on Wednesday morning to talk about her suprising primary election win that has catapaulted her into a run off with fellow attorney Alan Jackson for Distrcit Attorney in November. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times