California is seeing several recalls in primary election season this year, with San Francisco’s District Attorney Chesa having already been recalled earlier this year during the primary election.

What You Need To Know

  • LA County District Attorney George Gascon, and San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin are both facing push back on their progressive approach to criminal justice

  • The public’s take on criminal justice will evolve, Senior Political Writer for the San Francisco Chronicle Joe Garofoli predicted

  • Several candidates in California seem to survive recalls, Garofoli said

LA County District Attorney George Gascon, who might face a recall as well, needs to strengthen his strategy, senior political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle Joe Garofoli told “Inside the Issues” host Alex Cohen.

“In the heat of a recall election is not the time to start educating people about what your job description is. So anything Gascon can do to explain what he's trying to do… would help in some way,” Garofoli stated.

While both Gascon and Boudin are getting push back on their progressive approach to criminal justice, Garofoli said “the San Francisco battle was interpreted nationally.”

“I think that bearing criminal justice reform right now is a little bit early. A little bit of a too hot take, if you will,” Garofoli said. “The other thing to remember is that it will evolve.”

There are several places in California where change seems contradictory and slow.  

In Contra Costa County, east of the San Francisco Bay, progressive District Attorney Diana Becton held on to her seat with 57% of the votes in the face of a strong challenge from a fellow Democrat Mary Knox.

On the other hand, Republican Ron Freitas won by a narrow margin against Tori Verber Salazar in San Joaquin County.

At the very top of the ticket, Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has been a friend to criminal justice reform in many ways, won and survived the recall last fall as well, Garofoli noted.

“Even in San Francisco, the mayor here wants $50 million more in her budget to hire more police. She's going try and do something that's a little bit different, and she has been a supporter of some criminal justice reform. Hiring more police but wanting more oversight of the police,” Garofoli said. “So we're going into a different phase of criminal justice reform.”

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