OAKLAND, Calif. - San Francisco's newly elected district attorney Chesa Boudin declared victory on Saturday, following a tightly contested race against interim D.A. Suzy Loftus.
The former deputy public defender's win came after four days of ballot counting. The latest results from the San Francisco Department of Elections gave Boudin a lead of 8,865 votes.
Boudin appeared on KTVU's The Nine on Morning and said that he and Mayor London Breed were ready to move on and work together for the city. Breed had previously endorsed Loftus in the race and appointed her last month to fill out the reminder of George Gascon's term.
Boudin said he had spoke with Breed over the weekend. "We had a really productive, friendly conversation yesterday. She congratulated me," he said, adding, "We are both committed to what's best for this city. We were on opposite sides of our particular race obviously. That's behind us now and we both have the best interest of this city and the voters that elected us, at heart. And we know there's a lot of work to do, and we can't do it alone."
Boudin also addressed the contentious relationship he's had with the San Francisco's Police Officer's Association, which has been very critical of the former public defender, who created the public defender's office's pretrial release unit, which reviews defendants' cases before arraignment.
Following the Boudin's victory, the POA issued a statement that said in part, "We sincerely hope the new district attorney reconsiders his position to not contest the early release of violent felons and that he will grow into a champion of all crime victims."
In response, Boudin said, "We need to do a much better job serving victims of crime in our city. That's something I agree with the POA. And I've been very clear throughout this campaign that I'm going to run a victims first district attorney's office. I think we need to do a much better job reaching out to crime victims, informing them of rights and giving them more rights than the law minimally requires."
He added that he had reached out to police leadership and requested to sit down to discuss ideas as well get input.
When asked how someone does "a 180" from being a public defender, to district attorney, Boudin responded by saying he didn't believe the two positions were so far apart.
"Well I don't see it as being a 180 frankly. You know many of the people who have been arrested for crime and charged with crimes have themselves been victims of crime throughout their lives," Boudin said. "It's that failure to protect them being victims in the first place, that trauma that leads many people to end up committing crimes themselves."
He explained also pointed to what he's seen from his personal experiences involving his parents' incarceration.
"You know my mother did 22 years in prison, and I can tell you the vast majority of the women in her prison had themselves been the victims of sex trafficking, domestic violence, of pimping and worse. So what we need to remember is that the people we're prosecuting today are the people we failed to protect yesterday, in many cases."
Boudin's parents were members of the far-left group, Weather Underground. They were sent to prison when he was 14 months old, for their role in an armed heist in New York that killed three people.
He said learned he had won the D.A.'s race as he was flying home from a visit with his father at a prison in upstate New York.
If Boudin is not named interim D.A., he will have to wait until January to take that post.