Sunday, February 6, 2011
Trujillo Confirms Candidacy for District Attorney 2012
Saying that the time had come for Los Angeles to have a Latino District Attorney, Deputy District Attorney Mario Trujillo announced his candidacy to a capacity crowd at the Mexican American Bar Association's 51st Annual Installation and Gala at LA Live's JW Marriott ballroom.
Trujillo's announcement was widely expected, and Trujillo chose the ideal place to make it; the applause from the 500+ audience was resounding. In a short, to the point speech Trujillo said of his undertaking not to run if Steve Cooley sought a record fourth term, that "based on private conversations," he believed that Cooley would likely retire. Trujillo explained that he did not want to wait for Cooley to formally announce his retirement, because someone else "who may not work with us, who may not give us the access..." might jump into the race - perhaps a thinly veiled reference to Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who appears to have alienated a large part of the Latino legal community with his self-aggrandizing buffoonery at last week's SEDBA dinner.
In what was an uncharacteristically wise move, Trutanich did not make an appearance at the MABA dinner, however two other candidates were in attendance, and were well received; Assistant District Attorney Jackie Lacey and Deputy District Attorney Bobby Grace were doing the rounds and pressing the flesh. Both allowed Trujillo to bask in the glory of his moment with his community, and were doubtless taking notes on when and how they will launch their campaigns.
Trujillo gave a glimpse of the likely timbre of his campaign when he said "... every day I see the impact of a prosecutor and what he or she can have on the life of a defendant. We must do the right thing, we're not going to get any more money in this budget, and warehousing young men and women is not what we're about." He also praised Cooley for what he done to temper California's Third Strikes law, suggesting that Trujillo's campaign will change the focus from what we do with career criminals, to the steps we need to take to prevent the creation of career criminals. It's a tall order, but Trujillo stressed that his's 14 years at the DA's Office, and 6 years as a public school teacher, makes him a qualified candidate to bring change to the criminal justice system.
The LA Weekly's Gene Maddaus published an account of Trujillo's announcement with Maddaus noting that Trujillo might not be the first Latino DA, "Gil Garcetti, who is of Mexican and Italian heritage, would seem to have a good claim to that title." Maddaus said.
Trujillo's announcement means that 4 of the 10 candidates that we identified have now stepped up to the plate; Jackie Lacey, Alan Jackson, Danette Meyers and Mario Trujillo. Trutanich's statements that he's waiting to see what Cooley does, are inconsistent with reports of his private statements as well as his securing the services of a campaign consultant.