California’s Attorney General Race and Rising Crime

Written by T. Logan Dayne

California has faced a string of recall efforts in the past year. Currently, there is a recall election for San Francisco’s District Attorney Chesa Boudin and an effort to recall Los Angeles County Attorney George Gascón. These are reflective of a larger problem that California voters are becoming increasingly aware of, namely a substantial rise in crime and homelessness.

With 78% of registered California voters believing that crime has increased over the last year with 65% saying that crime has increased where they live, voters have grown dissatisfied with California’s lax on crime approach. Crime has grown worse under Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta who was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to replace Xavier Becerra.

As the 2022 elections approach, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, a candidate in the attorney general race, has come out and linked the policies that both Boudin and Gascón have promoted as being as ideologically the same as Bonta. In the midst of high crime rates, Schubert stated, “Do I think the current attorney general (Bonta) has a very different ideology than I do? Absolutely. If you think what’s happening in Los Angeles and San Francisco is good for California, he comes from the same ideological background.” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, who was endorsed by Bonta, has tried to pivot from some of his policies to show he cares about voter concern of crime. This after 98% of his deputy prosecutors voted to back his recall attempt. Boudin, on the other hand, claims that “the number of homeless people hasn’t increased significantly,” rather claiming that it is simply “more visible” to social media users and campaign contributors.

These recall efforts and the effort to remove Gascón are being seen as a proxy for the removal of Bonta and a reflection of the dissatisfaction of their ideologically driven policies. Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office declined to comment on the situation. 

Photo Cred: Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters