California voters are anxious about crime, putting pressure on left-leaning district attorneys and causing Attorney General Rob Bonta to recalibrate his position, reported Politico March 13.
Politico said that Bonta was “considered a rising progressive star” last year when he was appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, and that the outcome of his reelection effort provides this year could be “a bellwether of Democratic voters’ commitment to criminal justice reform.”
Meanwhile, polls show a nine-point increase since 2020 in voters who perceive violence and street crime as a problem, said the article.
The recall of former San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin was successful and Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon faces a well-funded recall push endorsed by a Los Angeles prosecutors’ union.
“If you’re an elected official or you want to be an elected official, you need to address the crime issue, said Democratic strategist Darry Sragow.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and former U.S. Attorney Nathan Hochman seek to unseat Bonta. Hochman is a Republican; Schubert is a Republican-turned-independent. Both work to associate Bonta with Boudin and Gascon.
“Rob Bonta is aligned with those policies and those types of candidates,” said Schubert. “People need to understand that what’s happening in San Francisco and what’s happening in Los Angeles, that Rob Bonta’s aligned with those types of ideologies.”
Bonta is responding to the pressure, stressing the need to “repair our broken criminal justice system” and for “rebuilding trust between our communities and law enforcement.”