In a heated campaign that bitterly divided Democrats over crime, policing, and public safety reform in the famously liberal city of San Francisco, California, its citizens recalled progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
Boudin, 41, was a first-time political candidate who narrowly won office in November 2019 as part of a national wave of progressive prosecutors who pledged to seek alternatives to incarceration, end the racist war on drugs and hold police officers to account.
But his time in office coincided with a frustrating and frightening pandemic in which viral footage of brazen shoplifting and attacks against Asian American people drove some residents to mount a recall campaign of the former public defender and son of left-wing activists.
Partial return showed about 60% of voters supported the recall, but Boudin refused to give in stating, “We have two cities. We have two systems of justice. We have one for the wealthy and the well connected and a different one for everybody else. And that’s exactly what we are fighting to change.”
What would this recall mean and what would its result produce?
No one can say with certainty what the resounding recall of Boudin could mean to the progressive prosecutor movement nationally and in California, where reform candidates were competing against more traditional law-and-order candidates in a handful of races, with mixed results.