Recall effort against Los Angeles District Attorney approved to circulate petitions

An effort to recall George Gascón from his position as the Los Angeles County District Attorney in California has been approved to circulate petitions. To get the recall on the ballot, supporters must collect 579,062 signatures from registered voters in the county by October 27.

The notice of intent to recall said Gascón had abandoned crime victims and their families, disregarded the rule of law, weakened sentencing requirements for violent crimes, and reduced sentences on hate, gun, and gang crimes.

Gascón was elected to a four-year term on Nov. 3, defeating incumbent Jackie Lacey with 53.5% of the vote. He campaigned on policies of “not seeking the death penalty; not prosecuting juveniles as adults; ending cash bail for misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies; and no longer filing enhancements that trigger stiffer sentences for certain elements of crimes, repeat offenses or being a gang member,” according to KTLA 5. Gascón said the opponents of his policies were fearmongers. “They continue to follow the playbook of the ‘80s and ’90s,” Gascón said. “It’s a simple message, right? Scare the heck out of people, and hopefully that will work for you.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva announced his support of the recall. Fourteen cities in Los Angeles County had passed votes of no confidence in Gascón as of May 20, 2021.

In 2020, Ballotpedia covered a total of 227 recall efforts against 279 elected officials. Of the 49 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 29 were recalled for a rate of 59%. That was higher than the 52% rate for 2019 recalls but lower than the 63% rate for 2018 recalls.

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