LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – George Gascón will be the next district attorney of Los Angeles County after incumbent Jackie Lacey conceded the race Friday morning, losing in her effort to obtain a third term in the position.
In an emotional news conference, Lacey acknowledged that she would not have the votes to overcome the deficit she currently faces. The 66-year-old Gascón, the former San Francisco District Attorney, was leading by a 53.72% to 46.28% margin, a difference of just over 229,000 votes.
“My consultants tell me that while I may close the gap between the two of us, I will not be able to make up enough, based on the trending of the ballots, to win this election,” Lacey said.
According to the L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office, there were still an estimated 791,200 votes remaining to be tallied.
Lacey was the first woman and the first African-American to hold the position.
“To my mom, who constantly asked me, ‘Are you OK?,’ and who constantly reminded me during this contentious fight, that no matter what happened, I made history,” Lacey said.
The 63-year-old Lacey has held the DA’s post since 2012. However, she has faced growing criticism during her tenure over claims she has not been aggressive enough in prosecuting law enforcement officers for misconduct. Those protests increased significantly in the wake of the George Floyd protests. For months, protesters have been holding weekly demonstrations outside of her downtown office and her home.
In August, the California Attorney General filed misdemeanor gun charges against her husband for an incident back in March in which he allegedly pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters. A pretrial hearing is scheduled in the case for Dec. 11.
Last month, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti switched his endorsement from Lacey to Gascón.
Gascón, a retired Los Angeles police officer, has served as both police chief and district attorney for San Francisco. Both appointments were made by current California governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
He earned a November runoff against Lacey after coming in second to her in the March primary. Lacey received 48.65% of the vote to Gascón’s 28.22%. Lacey needed to finish with more than 50% of the vote to avoid the runoff.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)