Second challenger enters race for Santa Clara County District Attorney
Assistant District Attorney Daniel Chung has officially announced his candidacy to head the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
Chung confirmed on Tuesday that he had filed his papers to run in the 2022 election. He told the San JosÃ© Spotlight that the theme of his campaign is Restoration of Justice and that it focuses on three pillars: integrity, competence and compassion.
âI think there is a fundamental lack of integrity, competence and compassion in the way (DA Jeff Rosen) runs the office,â Chung said. “He’s had plenty of time to change the system, to reform, to update, to move our county in different directions, and I think what voters are seeing is that for the most part he doesn’t. did not. “
Rosen, who took office in 2010, ran unopposed in his previous two re-election campaigns.
“I am proud to present to constituents a long track record of prosecuting violent criminals, defending victims and reforming the criminal justice system to make it safer, smarter and fairer for everyone,” said Rosen said in a statement to the San JosÃ© Spotlight.
Chung pitched the idea of âârunning in August, saying he wanted to resolve various issues in the prosecutor’s office, such as updating case management software and better training on the felony charge. He also wants to prioritize gathering overwhelming evidence before the office takes legal action and dramatically reduce the number of misdemeanor cases filed.
âWe will end bad prosecutions,â Chung said, adding that he wanted to focus on violent and serious crimes which pose the greatest threat to public welfare. âWe want to focus on these crimes to ensure that public safety is preserved. “
Chung is the second challenger to enter the race after Sajid Khan, a longtime public defender who launched his campaign in August.
Chung said he respects Khan professionally and personally, but believes he lacks the experience to run the office.
âSajid has never sued in his life,â Chung said. âObviously, Sajid knows a lot about the criminal justice system, but being a prosecutor is a whole different world. “
Khan said he welcomes Chung to the race because it is healthy for the county to have a wide range of candidates and viewpoints to choose from. With over 13 years of experience as a public defender, Khan said he was uniquely qualified to change the prosecutor’s office.
âThe status quo is not working,â Khan told the San JosÃ© Spotlight. âSo I think it’s actually an additional qualification for me that I’m not a career attorney. Mostly a career attorney in the very office we seek to transform.
Chung, who grew up in Milpitas, cut his teeth as a prosecutor in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in New York City, where he prosecuted gun-related crimes. He joined the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in 2018 and served in the Violent Crime Unit.
Although Khan and Rosen have clashed publicly in the past, it doesn’t come close to the level of acrimony between Chung and Rosen.
Chung was sanctioned and then placed on administrative leave in May after writing an unauthorized editorial expressing concerns about rising anti-Asian violence, and then further articles criticizing the DA office. He publicly accused the bureau’s leadership of retaliating against him for his articles, including issuing two “vigilance notices” – also known as BOLO – after he was put on leave. Chung said it violated his confidentiality by alerting the entire office to his employment problem.
Another wrinkle in the race is the fact that Chung recently sued the DA for retaliation. The lawsuit, filed in federal court last month, accuses Rosen of violating Chung’s freedom of speech by disciplining and demoting him after writing an opinion piece. Chung’s attorney Jim McManis says the alleged retaliation is part of a pattern and practice in Rosen’s office. The case is still pending and Chung has refused to discuss it.
Chung admitted he was an underdog to Khan and Rosen, but said he planned to have a vigorous grassroots campaign. He noted that Rosen managed to topple his boss, Dolores Carr, 10 years ago in a campaign that built on many of the same themes Chung plans to focus on in the coming months.
âI think voters will finally have the opportunity next year to really deepen their performance and values, and to declare if they want to see these things continue in our county,â Chung said.
Contact Eli Wolfe at [emailÂ protected] Where @ EliWolfe4 on Twitter.