San Francisco’s ousted DA Chesa Boudin rules out bid to regain job in special election

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Chesa Boudin, whom San Francisco voters ousted from his role as district attorney earlier this year, will not try to regain his job in the upcoming special election and will instead spend time with his family.

“I am choosing to put my family first: I will not be running for office in 2022,” he wrote on Twitter Thursday.

In a lengthy thread, he explained that his “son is on the verge of taking his first step and speaking his first word” and that he’d like to spend time at home.

“I’ve also taken stock of the burden that more than three years of nearly non-stop campaigning placed on my family,” he wrote. “I’m committed to criminal justice reform; I’m also committed to my family.”

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San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin looks on during an election-night event on June 07, 2022, in San Francisco, California. 

San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin looks on during an election-night event on June 07, 2022, in San Francisco, California.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Boudin entered office in January 2020, winning by a razor-thin margin after campaigning on a platform of progressive criminal justice reforms. Amid a crime wave and homelessness crisis, he soon struggled with a recall effort that culminated in his ouster in early June.

All that campaigning has taken a toll on his family life, he said.

“My wife’s research on Multiple Sclerosis at UCSF deserves the same support she has offered my work,” Boudin continued. “My elderly father just came home from prison after more than 40 years.”

Boudin was still an infant when his parents, Weather Underground members, were arrested in connection with the 1981 Brink’s heist in Nyack, New York, which left an armored-truck guard and two police officers dead. Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert were later both convicted of felony murder for their roles in the plot. Neither was accused of pulling the trigger.

FILE — In this Jan. 30, 2020, file photo is San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin posing outside his office in San Francisco. 

FILE — In this Jan. 30, 2020, file photo is San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin posing outside his office in San Francisco.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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Kathy Boudin died in May, and Gilbert was released on parole last year after 40 years in prison.

Chesa Boudin’s announcement stopped short of ruling out a run in the next regularly scheduled election in 2023 – and he touted parts of his record of which he is proud.

“We made a lot of progress in a short period of time,” he wrote. “I am particularly proud of our significant expansion of victims services, including new programs to serve our [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community…”

He also mentioned his efforts at resentencings, “restorative justice” and behavioral health treatments.

Brooke Jenkins attends a news conference at City Hall, Thursday, July 7, 2022, in San Francisco. 

Brooke Jenkins attends a news conference at City Hall, Thursday, July 7, 2022, in San Francisco.  ((Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP))

One accomplishment stands out on his list – the exoneration of a wrongfully convicted man.

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As the city awaits its special election, Mayor London Breed appointed Brooke Jenkins as interim district attorney.

Boudin said he is “gravely concerned” by Jenkins’ work in the weeks since her appointment.

“We have heard no assurances that the successful programs we’ve implemented will continue, and indeed, we see worrying signs every day as progress is rolled back,” he wrote.

That’s what voters chose during the June 7 recall.