Voters in San Francisco decided to recall District Attorney Chesa Boudin. According to the city’s elections website, the recall effort passed Tuesday night with just under 60% of the vote.
“I just don’t think he’s the right fit for the city at this time,” San Francisco voter Matthew Balthazor said Tuesday. “So hopefully we’ll find someone that’s going to tackle these issues a little bit in a different way.”
Boudin won office in November 2019 as part of a national wave of progressive prosecutors who pledged to seek alternatives to incarceration, end the war on drugs and hold police officers to account. The effort to recall him gained steam after footage of brazen shoplifting and attacks against Asian American people went viral.
“People are angry. They’re frustrated,” Boudin said in a Tuesday night speech. “They were given an opportunity to voice their frustration and their outrage. And they took that opportunity.”
Despite losing the recall election, Boudin remained defiant in his speech. He blamed the loss on “right-wing billionaires” who “outspent us 3 to 1.”
“They exploited an environment in which people are appropriately upset,” Boudin said. “And they created an electoral dynamic where we were literally shadowboxing.”
Recall proponents rejected Boudin’s efforts to paint them as Republicans. They include California state leaders of the hotel and retailers associations.
“This election does not mean that San Francisco has drifted to the far right on our approach to criminal justice,” Mary Jung, a chair of the recall campaign, said in a statement. “In fact, San Francisco has been a national beacon for progressive criminal justice reform for decades and will continue to do so with new leadership.”
San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who had backed a more moderate Democrat in the 2019 district attorney race, will name the next district attorney after the results are certified by the elections office and approved by the Board of Supervisors. Boudin could also run in November when the race is back on the ballot.