San Francisco voters will decide Tuesday whether to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin, the California city’s progressive prosecutor who critics say is too soft-on-crime.
Left-wing Boudin has more than a year left in his term, and should he be removed, the city’s centrist Democratic Mayor London Breed will appoint a replacement.
Breed is likely to choose an appointee more ideologically-aligned with herself, given that a successful recall effort would be seen as a rebuke of Boudin’s woke progressive bonafides.
One monkey wrench in the works for Breed though is that voters will also be deciding on Proposition C, which would bar mayoral appointees from running in the replacement election. If the recall succeeds, a special election for DA will be held in November to determine who finishes Boudin’s term through 2023. So some of her picks may not want the interim post.
Here are some people who might be on Breed’s shortlist:
Long-time prosecutor Nancy Tung lost to Boudin in the 2019 election, coming in third with 19.3% of the vote.
Tung is “tough-on-crime” and supported a federal crackdown on the city’s open-air drug markets, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Breed nominated her for a position on the police commission in 2020, but her candidacy was rejected by the liberal Board of Supervisors, who deemed her anti-police reform, according to the outlet.
Online, Tung has been a vocal supporter of the recall effort.
She also has said she will likely run again in 2023, according to the SF Standard, telling the news site that she wants Asian crime victims to be better supported by the District Attorney.
In what would be seen as a further rebuke to Boudin, Breed might nominate her former employee Brooke Jenkins, who has been a prominent voice in the recall movement.
Jenkins worked in Boudin’s office and supported some of his policies, but has now taken a hard-line against him and quit her job with the lefty.
She is one of about 50 attorneys to leave the office.
In a local media interview she claimed that Boudin “doesn’t prioritize public safety.”
On Saturday, Jenkins tweeted: “When I meet Chesa supporters they often tell me that he is holding police accountable. That’s dead wrong. What cop has he successfully prosecuted and what police case has he filed that isn’t riddled with claims of unethical conduct by his office. He’s failing at this.”
The Chronicle has floated the idea of her replacing Boudin, a rumor she hasn’t shut down.
Joe Alioto Veronese
One thing that is for certain, former cop Joe Alioto Veronese will be running for San Francisco District Attorney in 2023 — and he might also be Breed’s pick to replace Boudin, according to the SF Examiner.
“What I would immediately do is I would stand shoulder to shoulder with the San Francisco Police Department and let them know that I will support you, and I will back you, as long as you operate within your training,” Alioto Veronese told the Chronicle about what type of DA he would be.
Alioto Veronese was the police commissioner when Gavin Newson ran the city and has also worked as a civil rights attorney. He supports the recall effort.
He has also promised to go hard after misdemeanors, particularly thefts — a hot button issue in a the city.
“A year in jail is a long time for someone who steals — who goes into Walgreens and fills a bag,” he told the Chronicle. “That is plenty of leverage to hold against an individual.”
A rare moderate on the city’s Board of Supervisors, Catherine Stefani is almost certainly on Brood’s shortlist.
Stefani was the first elected official to officially endorse the recall effort, according to the Chronicle, but she wouldn’t comment on whether she would want to replace Boudin.
The paper said Breed might not choose her because the mayor values having a close ally on the Board of Supervisors.
Stefani bills herself as a gun violence prevention activist and is a former prosecutor herself.
She has also pushed Boudin’s office to release data on how often he prosecutors violent criminals, according to NBC Bay Area.