Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey conceded defeat Friday to progressive challenger George Gascón, saying it would be nearly impossible to overcome his lead in the race.
The votes are still being counted, with 791,200 ballots yet to be tallied. But Lacey said at a news conference that she had been told by consultants she would not be able to catch up to her challenger.
Lacey was elected in 2012 as the first woman and first Black prosecutor to become L.A. County district attorney.
At times fighting back tears Friday, she said she was honored to have served two terms.
“I am so thankful to God for giving me this incredible opportunity to serve the people of Los Angeles County,” she said. “Do you know it was exactly eight years today, Nov. 6, 2012, that I was elected. I thank my family for the sacrifices they made in order for me to hold this job.”
According to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office, Gascón has 53.7% of the vote compared to Lacey’s 46.2%.
Lacey faced fierce opposition and criticism from Black Lives Matter for not prosecuting police officers who killed civilians over her two terms.
Lacey admitted there was a “demand to see a tsunami of change” after George Floyd’s in-custody death in Minneapolis.
“These incidents were painful and exposed an issue that existed in this country for years, racism,” she said Friday. “Our nation is going through a reckoning, and what happened in my election may one day be listed as a consequence of them.”
Gascón is a former LAPD assistant chief and former San Francisco D.A. He touted himself as a reformer. Although the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets pointed out that he never prosecuted a police officer for killing a civilian during his time as San Francisco D.A.