Progressive San Francisco DA recalled by voters in one of nation’s most liberal cities

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Voters in San Francisco have chosen to recall embattled District Attorney Chesa Boudin following a recall effort centered on his handling of rising crime across the city.

San Francisco voted to recall Boudin with 61%, compared to 39% who wanted him to stay as the district attorney, according to results at the time the Associated Press called the race.

Boudin was elected in 2019 with 50.8% of the vote and was sworn in as San Francisco’s 29th district attorney on Jan. 8 2020. 

He faced an onslaught of criticism over his progressive criminal justice policies as those supporting his recall pointed to an increased murder rate, violent crime, shoplifting, burglaries, and an open-air drug trade as reasons to vote for his removal from office.

Chesa Boudin during an appearance on the SF City Insider podcast at the San Francisco Chronicle in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, August 28, 2019.

Chesa Boudin during an appearance on the SF City Insider podcast at the San Francisco Chronicle in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, August 28, 2019. (Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

YOUNG SAN FRANCISCANS RALLY FOR EMBATTLED DA FACING RECALL ELECTION: ‘FIGHTING FOR THE SOUL OF SAN FRANCISCO’

Boudin’s supporters praised him for keeping his promises of eliminating cash bail, not prosecuting quality-of-life crimes and putting fewer people behind bars. 

He is the first San Francisco district attorney to be recalled, and only the second to face a recall election. 

After news of his loss, Boudin said at an election-night watch party that his push for progressive policies in criminal justice and prison reform was not over.

“This is a movement, not a moment in history,” Boudin said. “The coalition that we built… it is broad, it is diverse, it is strong. And it is a coalition that is deeply committed to justice,” he added.

Boudin blamed his loss on corporate interests who outspent him “three to one” as he fought against the recall effort.

He also said he grew up in two worlds — one where he had every opportunity, and another in which he was “shackled to an existence mired in degradation and humiliation, one known to far too many Americans because of our addiction to caging human beings.”

His father, David Gilbert, a former member of the left-wing extremist Weather Underground group, spent 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges before being granted parole last year.

His mother, Kathy Boudin, who was also a member of Weather Underground, spent more than 20 years in prison before being released in 2003. Boudin was raised by left-wing activist Bill Ayers, who was a co-founder of Weather Underground.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed listens at a press conference regarding the next steps she will be taking to replace three school board members who were successfully recalled at City Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed listens at a press conference regarding the next steps she will be taking to replace three school board members who were successfully recalled at City Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Gabrielle Lurie/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

San Francisco Mayor London Breed, who in recent weeks has appeared skeptical of Boudin’s prosecutorial work but did not endorse his recall effort, will select his replacement.

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Another recall effort is in the works against Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón, and the organizers believe Boudin’s loss should be a warning sign.

“Tonight showed that voters from every community and every walk of life, regardless of political ideology, are rejecting pro-criminal policies that are masked as criminal justice reform,” said a representative of the Recall Gascon Campaign. “George Gascón and Chesa Boudin’s failed social experiments have destroyed communities while doing nothing to meaningfully reform the system. If LA County voters sign and return their recall petitions, Gascon will be walking the same plank in the near future”

Fox News’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.

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