August 16, 2022

Former San Francisco District Attorney Chiesa Bowden announce On Thursday, he said he would not run for his old position in the upcoming November special elections.

Mr. Bowden, a former attorney general who won election to San Francisco’s attorney general in 2019, was defeated in an impeachment vote in June amid frustration with crime and the city’s public safety situation.

Mr. Bowden, whose parents were members of the radical left-wing organization The Weather Underground and were sent to prison for their role in a murderous robbery when he was just a young child, was elected as a progressive reformer.

But frustration with his performance has mounted as the Covid pandemic has contributed to higher crime rates in the city — even though increases in crime in San Francisco have mirrored similar increases in cities across the United States.

Although there is little evidence that Mr. Bowden’s own policies were so responsible In order to increase the crime rate of a number of the wealthy funded A campaign to remind him finally succeeded by ten points.

But Mr. Bowden retained a devoted base of supporters who felt he was being unfairly scapegoated for issues plaguing San Francisco outside his purview and noted his successes – which included ending cash bail, establishing an innocence panel to review potential wrongful convictions, – and violent offenders in programs Diversion, white-collar financial crime prosecution – as reasons they wanted him to stay in office.

San Francisco Mayor London Pride, a business-friendly centrist, has chosen to replace Mr. Bowden with one of his fiercest critics: former Attorney General Brock Jenkins, who resigned from her position in the attorney general’s office last to campaign against Bowden.

In her short tenure as interim head of the DA office, Jenkins set out to reverse many of Mr. Boudin’s relatively timeless policies. She started by expelling 15 people and then canceled the petition deals In a select number of drug cases. Collective improvements in sentencing and monetary bail may also return.

Police in San Francisco have paid tribute to Ms. Jenkins, but time will tell if she could have achieved more popular results than Mr. Bowden with a tough, tough approach to crime that many insiders of the criminal justice system argue was a long one. It has since lost credibility in California and across the country.

Mr. Bowden has not ruled out running for another job in the days after the impeachment election, and progressive criticism of Ms. Jenkins’ approach has fueled speculation that Mr. Bowden may try to get his old job back with what is likely to be younger, more progressive November voters. .

But Thursday’s announcement ended that speculation.

Mr Bowden said nearly three consecutive years of campaigning had taken its toll on his personal life and that he was not ready to launch another campaign after his mother’s recent death from cancer and his father’s recent release from prison after more than 40 years. . Mr. Bowden writes that his father needs support, as do members of his nuclear family.

“My son is about to take his first step and speak his first,” Mr. Bowden wrote. “My wife’s research on multiple sclerosis at the University of California, San Francisco deserves the same support she has given my work.”

Nevertheless, Bowden touted his accomplishments in office and criticized Jenkins.

“I am deeply concerned by what I have seen from the current appointed attorney general,” Mr. Bowden wrote. “We haven’t heard any assurances that the successful programs we’ve implemented will continue, and in fact, we see worrying signs every day as progress declines.”

The substance of Mr. Bowen’s comments suggests he will likely support another reform-oriented candidate in November, even if his name is not on the ballot. Mr. Bowen can still run again for a full four-year term as attorney general next year.

“I know this news will be disappointing to many who are dedicated to reform,” Mr. Bowden wrote. “I assure you that I remain deeply committed to justice and to the people of San Francisco.”

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