UPDATE: This story has been updated with statements, a photo, and a list of endorsements from a Hamasaki campaign press release. (Aug. 15)
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A third candidate has announced a bid for San Francisco District Attorney in November’s special election, according to a press release.
The entry of John Hamasaki, an attorney and former San Francisco police commissioner, balances out sitting DA Brooke Jenkins and former police and fire commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese in the race to finish Chesa Boudin’s term. Boudin was recalled by city voters in June.
Hamasaki opened Hamasaki Law, a criminal defense law firm. When he was with the police commission, Hamasaki was the lead commissioner on the domestic violence working group, helping to modernize San Francisco Police Department guidelines for interaction with domestic violence victims.
“I’m here today because San Francisco needs an independent District Attorney who will hold everyone accountable to the law,” Hamasaki stated in a press release Friday. “Whether you are a drug dealer selling deadly fentanyl in the Tenderloin, a multi-million corporation exploiting workers and small business owners, or a political machine selling influence in City Hall, I will fight for safety and justice.”
Hamasaki had been a vocal opponent of the police department on the commission; earlier this week he blasted Jenkins over accepting over $100,000 to consult on the Boudin recall, stating via Twitter: “I think it would be incredibly refreshing if Jenkins just took responsibility for her actions, just ONE time. How can you be in charge of accountability, when you refuse to take it yourself?”
Hamasaki has the endorsement of many of the city’s progressive stalwarts, including former State Senator Mark Leno, former State Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, former President of the Board of Supervisors Matt Gonzalez, District 5 (Haight-Western Addition) Supervisor Dean Preston, former Supervisors Sandra Lee Fewer and John Avalos, and former Police Commissioners Angela Chan and Petra DeJesus.
“San Francisco deserves a district attorney who is going to fight to keep us all safe, not just the super rich and powerful in our city,” de Jesus stated in a press release. “I’m very excited to support John Hamasaki’s campaign.”
Hamasaki, a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, is a fourth-generation Japanese American who lives with his family in North Beach. He did not reply to a request for comment for this report.
Alioto Veronese tied Hamasaki’s entry into the race to the consulting money revelation.
“The exposure of Brooke Jenkins shoddy ethics has drawn a lot of attention and, now, another DA candidate,” Alioto Veronese stated. “And it wouldn’t be San Francisco if you didn’t have a public defender running for the job of the cities top cop. San Francisco is a proud, progressive city that has always been a leader of Americas progressive values. But we progressives can have a safe city without abandoning our core values. You can’t get violent criminals off the street without the police. We need to work with the police to justly fight crime in this city. There is no other way.”
The Jenkins campaign declined to comment.