LOS ANGELES (CBS) — After months of speculation, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich confirmed Thursday that he will run for district attorney of Los Angeles County.
District Attorney Steve Cooley previously announced that he would not seek a fourth term and plans to retire.
Trutanich, who had vowed not to seek higher office during his first term as city attorney, said he is running at the urging of Sheriff Lee Baca.
Cooley urged Trutanich not to run and endorsed Chief Deputy District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Four other prosecutors in the D.A.’s office, Alan Jackson, Bobby Grace, Danette Meyers and Mario Trujillo, are also running.
“I love my job as city attorney, but I can’t do my job to protect residents, nor can our local police and sheriffs, without a crime-fighting partner in the D.A.’s office,” Trutanich said in a statement.
Trutanich, who was elected the city’s top prosecutor in 2009, has built his reputation on going after companies that put up illegal billboards and super graphics and seeking injunctions in an attempt to quell gang violence.
If elected as the county’s top prosecutor, Trutanich said he would work to expand gang prevention programs in local schools and to expand job training for at-risk youth.