CORRECTION: The original version of this story stated the debate was Wednesday; in fact, it was Tuesday. We regret the error.
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The four candidates vying for the office of San Francisco District Attorney spent two hours Tuesday evening debating.
The debate was at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where two of the four earned law degrees: Defense attorney and former police commissioner John Hamasaki (JD 2008), former police and fire commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese (JD 2000). Lawyer Maurice Chenier earned a bachelor’s degree at the school in 1989.
The forth candidate is interim District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who San Francisco Mayor London Breed appointed to the office after the recall of elected District Attorney Chesa Boudin in June.
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Jenkins, a former assistant district attorney, was the public face of the recall effort after she quit that job citing serious disagreements with Boudin, a self-styled progressive prosecutor.
The debate was moderated by Ming Chin, who graduated USF in 1967. Chin was an associate justice of the California Supreme Court from 1996 till 2020.
All four candidates shared their vision for the future of criminal justice and accountability in the city, starting with getting drugs off the streets.
“Those days you run these streets, those days are over,” Alioto Veronese said to the city’s drug dealers.
“It’s not lock ’em up, just more dealers fighting for turf,” Hamasaki said.
“Shape up or ship out,” Chenier said.
“Hold the dealers accountable, charge them with murder,” Jenkins said.
Other topics at the debate included stopping petty crime like car break-ins, how to prosecute hate crimes, and how to hold wayward or corrupt police accountable.
The winner will serve till the end of Boudin’s term, which ends in Jan. 2024. There will be another race for DA next year.