L.A. district legal professional race: Lacey vs. Gascón evaluation

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L.A. district attorney race: Lacey vs. Gascón analysis

It's been a tough year for Los Angeles County Dist. Atty Jackie Lacey. It has not won enough primary votes to avoid a runoff vote. Long-standing political allies have withdrawn their support, and her husband could be prosecuted after firing a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters outside her home.

The district's top prosecutor almost won a third term in March, but a slim majority favored one of her two challengers – the former San Francisco Dist. Atty George Gascón and Rachel Rossi, a former defender. Lacey cannot claim the majority of voters and will face Gascón in a November contest that has suddenly become a lightning bolt in the nationwide police reform debate.

March 3 primary results

Jackie Lacey

48.7%

869,127 votes

George Gascón

28.2%

504,088 votes

On the way to the drain

Rachel Rossi

23.1%

413,231 votes

Gascón faces a difficult challenge. Los Angeles County officials are hard to beat – a sedentary district attorney has not been removed since 2000.

A first look at the March primary results shows that Lacey dominated the map, ranking first in 86% of the 3,072 counties where votes were counted.

District winner

Lacey: 2,654 districts

Gascón: 199 districts

Rossi: 82 districts

Lacey won counties across the county, from Lancaster in the north to Long Beach in the south.

The highest concentrations of Gascón and Rossi victories were found in areas north of downtown such as Los Feliz, Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Lacey won counties across the county, from Lancaster in the north to Long Beach in the south.

The highest concentrations of Gascón and Rossi victories were found in areas north of downtown such as Los Feliz, Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Lacey won counties across the county, from Lancaster in the north to Long Beach in the south.

The highest concentrations of Gascón and Rossi victories were found in areas north of downtown such as Los Feliz, Echo Park and Silver Lake.

Source: Los Angeles County. The results are shaded by the district's voice density.

Individually, their opponents could only win in a small number of districts, with the greatest concentration in fast-growing neighborhoods north of downtown Los Angeles.

While neither challenger was close to overtaking the incumbent alone, a Times analysis of the primary vote shows a possible way to surprise if the opposition joins behind Gascón to transport the densely populated, diverse neighborhoods in the center of the county . Protests against police brutality this summer also focused heavily on these areas.

Gascón and Rossi split the opposition vote in many areas where most voters chose a candidate other than Lacey. When the two challengers' voices are combined, Lacey's stake shrinks significantly and the majority who opposed her re-election become clearer.

District winners together with Gascón and Rossi's votes

Lacey: 1,148 counties

Gascón & Rossi: 1,787 districts

Taken together, Rossi and Gascón Lacey outperformed in part of the LA Basin, from Santa Monica to Eagle Rock and the eastern San Fernando Valley.

Taken together, Rossi and Gascón Lacey outperformed in part of the LA Basin, from Santa Monica to Eagle Rock and the eastern San Fernando Valley.

If Gascón can get enough votes for Rossi, he may have a chance to build a successful coalition. Rossi did not support Gascón, although she recently told the Times that she had discussed the possibility with his campaign staff.

A race and class differences

An analysis of the combined results shows a clear gap in the attractiveness of the candidates. Across the county, Lacey performed better in areas that were richer and whiter.

The incumbent, who has been an integral part of Los Angeles County politics for over a decade, won a strong majority in areas where most households earn over $ 100,000 a year.

Rossi and Gascón took 56% of the vote home in districts where most households earn less than $ 60,000, which is roughly the county average income.

The majority of households earn more than $ 100,000

Lacey: 54% (219,450 votes)

Gascón and Rossi: 46% (184,409 votes)

Lacey performed better in more affluent suburbs on the outskirts of the county.

Lacey performed better in more affluent suburbs on the outskirts of the county.

The majority of households earn less than $ 60,000

Lacey: 44% (240,492 votes)

Gascón and Rossi: 56% (310,290 votes)

Lacey, the first black woman to be elected Los Angeles District Attorney, won the most votes in many of the district's mostly white districts. Rossi, who identifies himself as Afro-Latina, and Gascón, who is of Cuban origin, won with a greater lead in the predominantly Latin American districts of the city.

Majority knows

Lacey: 51% (305,232 votes)

Gascón and Rossi: 49% (292,716 votes)

Lacey performed best in mostly white suburbs, but failed to win the majority of votes in neighborhoods such as West Hollywood and Santa Monica.

Lacey performed best in mostly white suburbs, but failed to win the majority of votes in neighborhoods such as West Hollywood and Santa Monica.

Majority Latino

Lacey: 45% (269,275 votes)

Gascón and Rossi: 55% (325,759 votes)

The densely populated, mostly Latin American quarters in the southeastern part of the district preferred the challengers.

The densely populated, mostly Latin American quarters in the southeastern part of the district preferred the challengers.

In areas where the blacks make up the majority of the population, Lacey convinced her opponents with a razor-thin lead.

Lacey, who grew up in South LA and graduated from Dorsey High School, has been heavily criticized by the Black Lives Matter movement. The organization that will host the next D.A. Support Gascón and host numerous protests outside Lacey's house to more aggressively investigate police killings.

During a particularly heated protest the day before the March area code, her husband drew a gun against demonstrators. The Attorney General still decides whether to charge him.

Plurality-Black neighborhoods

Lacey: 50.8% (32,378 votes)

Gascón & Rossi: 49.2% (31,373 votes)

There are 114 plural black districts in the county that are concentrated in South LA. Lacey won a majority in 59 of these counties.

There are 114 plural black districts in the county that are concentrated in South LA. Lacey won a majority in 59 of these counties.

The urge for police reform has led Lacey to lose the support of several prominent figures, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance). Last month, Mayor Garcetti said it was "time" for a change in the prosecutor's office, even though he had stopped withdrawing his consent.

Gascón has tried to capitalize on this by promising a more independent and stringent police shoot-out investigation, which has given him top-class recommendations from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Former Obama cabinet member Julián Castro, and Senator Kamala Harris (D- Calif).

Jaime Regalado, emeritus professor of political science at Cal State Los Angeles, said that the dynamic of the race has undoubtedly deteriorated in Gascon's favor as the demand for reform of the criminal justice system multiplied and the possibility of an energetic, progressive base in the November elections consists. Regalado added that although Lacey was preferred to win the area code because Gascón and Rossi shared the progressive vote, it could face a much tougher test in a one-on-one competition.

"I think what we're going to see is a major shift in this white liberal vote towards the reformer," he said. “The increased tension will remain until the election. It could be both good and bad for established companies and challengers, but I think in this case it helps the reformer. "

To win in November, he must convert the protests into voices and get as much support as possible from Rossi's base. If he can, Gascón could be well positioned to upset Lacey in November.

The Times staff, James Queally and Sandhya Kambhampati, also contributed to this report.

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