LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Former presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris Tuesday endorsed George Gascón in the heated race for Los Angeles County District Attorney.

Gascón is battling to unseat current L.A. County DA Jackie Lacey in the March 3 Primary Election.

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“George Gascón is a proven leader of national significance when it comes to reforming our criminal justice system,” Harris said in a statement. “As DA of San Francisco, George led fights to reform the Three Strikes Law, decrease the state prison population and get people convicted of nonviolent offenses greater opportunities to get their lives back on track. As DA of LA County, I know George Gascón will work every day to keep our communities safe and demand real accountability from our justice system and real justice for every Angeleno.”

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In 2011, the 65-year-old Gascón succeeded Harris as San Francisco district attorney when she left to become California attorney general.

Lacey has held the DA post since 2012 and is looking for a third term. Also vying for the seat is former federal public defender Rachel Rossi.

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If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary, the top two candidates will advance to a runoff in November.