In 2010, we declared District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis the most effective political leader in San Diego. And a couple years later, observers of the 2012 race for mayor– and Dumanis’ depressing showing in it– mocked us for the statement.
How effective could she be if she couldn’t do better than 4th place in a four-way race?
The news that Dumanis is stepping down this July from her perch as lead prosecutor for the county of San Diego is showing again, though, how powerful she stays.
Her influence is on complete display screen as the pieces form for her picked successor to walk into the DA’s office with the least amount of inconvenience with citizens as possible.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Summertime Stephan is the only significant prospect running for the task.
Now, with Dumanis’ decision to step down, the county’s 5 managers will need to select an interim replacement.
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Stephan is set to get that visit and therefore run as an incumbent in the 2018 election.
This is precisely the “smooth shift” Dumanis explained to allies, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune earlier this year.
Technically, the county managers might designate anybody. However political experts think amusing the possibility they will not choose Stephan is naïve.
Regardless, county managers will accept applications for the temporary post all next month.
” We do not know what the Board of Supervisors’ strategies are for filling the job, so it would be premature to comment,” said Jason Roe, Stephan’s political expert.
Resigning early to give your preferred successor an upper hand on an upcoming election is the exact same approach Dumanis’ buddy, the late Constable Bill Kolender, took. His picked successor, Constable Expense Gore, stays constable today.
If the Board of Supervisors appoints Stephan, it’s nearly specific she ‘d go on to win in 2018, stated Tom Shepard, a long time political specialist who has actually run Gore’s campaigns, in addition to Bob Brewer’s difficulty to Dumanis in 2014.
” For these countywide positions, the power of incumbency– and even semi-incumbency– is a huge benefit,” he said. “It’s nearly difficult to raise sufficient money to run an aggressive campaign in a jurisdiction this large, so to put ‘district attorney’ under your name, even if it would say ‘selected’ in parenthesis, is nearly overwhelming.”
Shepherd said there’s nothing unlawful about Dumanis stepping down early and tapping a favored replacement, “but if you’re someone who thinks this has actually been an overly politicized office and thinks it’s time for new blood, this goes a long way towards making that change difficult.”
On the other hand, Dumanis is considering signing up with the same board in charge of tapping her successor. In her statement revealing her resignation Thursday, Dumanis stated she was still mulling a run for the County Board of Supervisors.
” To be clear, I have actually not chosen if I will be a candidate or not. I think my experience, and the vital role that the board plays in public security and policy problems, would make me a reliable member,” Dumanis stated in the declaration. “However, I do not want to develop any dispute with, or interruption from the important work of the District Lawyer’s Workplace. Therefore, I feel it’s suitable for me to resign at this time as I explore my prospective candidacy.”
To make the web even more twisted, the regional Democratic Party called on the Board of Supervisors to launch an examination into Dumanis’ ties to a continuous public corruption scandal.
Shepard thinks the DAs race isn’t really rather over exactly because of that scandal, despite the overwhelming benefit Stephan would have running as a semi-incumbent.
” The disadvantage of being the carefully picked successor is, you inherit the baggage the incumbent has,” he said. “She’s not in a position to slam her employer. But unless there’s a groundswell of concern over those problems, it’s tough to see other candidate having a chance.”
If you need a refresher on exactly what choices the DA really makes, take a look at this guide. In the meantime, here are a few things to know about Stephan, San Diego’s most likely next district lawyer.
She currently has a stable of support lined up.
Stephan submitted documentation in January declaring her candidateship for DA in 2018. Ever since she’s gotten a jaw-dropping list of endorsements not just from police unions that have actually worked with Dumanis for many years however also popular Democrats like U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas and Mara Elliott, the newly elected liberal city lawyer for San Diego.
Stephan has enlisted Roe, the designer of Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s triumphes. Her 2018 campaign paperwork lists April Boling, a Republican project veteran, as treasurer.
She’s already been backed by Faulconer, Gore and a number of other local officials and law enforcement groups.
She is a signed up Republican.
Keep in mind, though, that the position of DA is technically considered nonpartisan.
She was at the center of one of the most explosive, dreadful cases in recent San Diego history.
The murder of 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe in Escondido in 1998 is one of those cases that still amazes true criminal activity enthusiasts to this day. A huge part of that is since of how the prosecution of the case, led in part by Stephan, played out.
Stephan led the prosecution of Crowe’s teenage sibling and 2 of his buddies for the murder. She described the three defendants as “wicked,” and the criminals of “cold-blooded murder,” according to the Union-Tribune. At one point, she speculated the murder had actually become part of a fantasy role-playing game the young boys were taking part in, the Washington Post reported at the time.
The case hinged on a confession wrung from 14-year-old Michael Crowe after “2 marathon interrogations” in which Escondido cops detectives fed him details of the murder and lied about the proof linking his regret.
But before the case reached a jury, a discovery altered whatever: Crowe’s blood had actually been found on the t-shirt of a transient who remained in the location the night she was murdered, someone whom defense attorneys firmly insisted the whole time had been the killer.
Even in dismissing the case, Stephan’s group set out its evidence against the teen young boys and stated they reserved the right to charge them once again.
The case was ultimately turned over to the state chief law officer.
The short-term, Richard Tuite, was founded guilty of the murder, however the conviction was ultimately tossed out. On a retrial, he was acquitted and released in 2013.
She is best understood for her deal with human trafficking.
Stephan, along with Alameda County District Lawyer Nancy O’Malley, has played an outsize function in making combating human trafficking a concern for state and regional authorities.
Stephan is chief deputy DA for the Sex Criminal activities and Human Trafficking Department, serves on a variety of committees connected to trafficking and has advocated for state legislation that resolves trafficking problems.
This article connects to: Politics, Bonnie Dumanis