Gascón, Hochman lead in early results for DA 

Courtesy of the Los Angeles County District Attorney
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One of the most closely watched and widely contested races in Los Angeles County, the campaign for the District’s Attorney’s Office, was led by District Attorney George Gascón and Nathan Hochman as of press time Tuesday night. 

Gascón had 22.87% of the vote, or 138,403 votes; Hochman had 18.11%, or 109,602 votes; and Jonathan Hatami, a county prosecutor and Santa Clarita resident, was in third with 12.05% of the vote, or 72,914 votes.  

In one of the more crowded fields in recent memory, the incumbent was challenged by 11 candidates, including several of his employees, who have expressed anger over a slate of special directives he announced Dec. 7, 2020.  

A number of his challengers have called his policies “pro-criminal” throughout the campaign. Hochman, who reported raising over $2 million in the primary, said the early results were encouraging. 

“Tonight, three-quarters of Angelenos rejected George Gascón and said enough is enough of playing politics with our communities’ safety. The Golden Age of Criminals is coming to an end,” he said in a statement Tuesday night in response to the initial results, apparently looking ahead to November. “The fight to take back Los Angeles County from criminals begins tonight and continues to Nov. 5 when I will have the honor of becoming L.A. County’s next district attorney.” 

Gascón’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment as of press time Tuesday.  

The third-leading vote-getter was the only local candidate for the office, Hatami, a Valencia resident and child crimes prosecutor in Gascón’s office. He declared his campaign in March 2023, but he’s expressed opposition to Gascón’s policies from the beginning. 

His campaign did not respond to a request for comment after the first batch of results came in Tuesday night.  

As of The Signal’s print deadline, ballots from 12% of eligible voters had been tallied. None of the other candidates had more than 10% of the total in the initial results. It remained to be seen exactly how many ballots remain to be counted, including mail-in ballots sent on Tuesday. 

Debra Archuleta, a Superior Court judge, picked up 9.41%; Maria Ramirez, who’s also an L.A. County prosecutor, garnered 7.54%; Jeff Chemerinsky, a former federal prosecutor, had 7.51%; Eric Siddall, vice president of the county prosecutor’s union, had 6.26%; and another Gascón employee, John McKinney, picked up 5.78%. 

There were four other candidates who had less than 4% as of Tuesday night: David S. Milton; Craig J. Mitchell; Lloyd “Bobcat” Masson; and Dan Kapelovitz. 

A majority of votes cast, 50% plus one vote, is required to elect a candidate for L.A. County offices, including the Board of Supervisors, judges of Superior Court and district attorney. If no candidate receives 50% plus one, a run-off will occur Nov. 5. 

The deadline to certify the results, according to L.A. County Vote, is March 29. 

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