Democrats win majority of key sheriff and prosecutor races across the country
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Uncalled race statistics valid as of Thursday evening.
- Maricopa County (Phoenix) Prosecutor: Republican nominee Rachel Mitchell is leading Democratic nominee Julie Gunnigle by four points, or roughly 46,000 votes, with hundreds of thousands of ballots left to tally. Mitchell has said she would enforce a ban on abortion, whereas Gunnigle promised to “ never prosecute a patient, a provider, or a family for choosing to have an abortion or any other reproductive decision.”
- Alameda County (Berkeley, Oakland) Prosecutor: Moderate candidate Terry Wiley leads progressive reformer Pamela Price by three points, or approximately 5,000 votes, with potentially tens of thousands of ballots still to count. Price has promised to never charge children as adults and to focus on restorative justice initiatives, while WIley has won the support of law enforcement unions.
- Los Angeles County Sheriff: Former Long Beach Chief of Police Robert Luna leads current Sheriff Alex Villanueva by 13% with nearly 1 million ballots left to tally. Luna is described as an “establishment candidate” with his own scandals as police chief: namely, 60 excessive force and wrongful death lawsuits that cost the city more than $31 million to settle.
- San Francisco Prosecutor: Current DA Brooke Jenkins leads progressive nominee John Hamasaki by 13%, or 19,000 votes. “Tough on crime” candidate Joe Veronese is in third, making up the difference between the top two candidates with 13% of the votes. There are at least 100,000 ballots remaining to be counted. Jenkins was appointed by Mayor London Breed after the former DA, progressive Chesa Boudin, was recalled.
- San Diego County Sheriff: Undersheriff Kelly Martinez leads “tough on crime” nominee John Hemmerling by 15%, or approximately 70,000 votes. There are still 500,000 ballots waiting to be counted.
Pinellas (St Petersburg) And Pasco Counties Prosecutor: Republican incumbent Bruce Bartlett won with 59% of the vote. Bartlett, who was appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to fill a vacancy in January 2021, was challenged by career public defender Allison Miller (D).
Marion County (Indianapolis) Prosecutor: Democratic incumbent Ryan Mears won with 59% of the vote (98% of voting centers reporting), overcoming opposition from the Fraternal Order of Police. The Order announced a ‘no confidence’ vote against Mears in August, blaming him for Indianapolis’ rising crime rate, and endorsed his challenger, Republican Cyndi Carrasco. Mears has also vowed not to prosecute women or doctors over abortions.
Polk County (Des Moines) Prosecutor: Democratic outsider Kimberly Graham won with 57% of the vote, becoming the county’s first new chief law enforcement officer since 1991. Graham represents abused and neglected children in court and used to work as a defense attorney. She is replacing John Sarcone, who pursued aggressive prosecutions against Black Lives Matter activists and journalists covering the protests.
- Frederick County Sheriff: Far right Sheriff Chuck Jenkins leads Democratic challenger Karl Bickel by 14%, or roughly 11,000 votes. There are about 16,000 ballots left to be counted. Jenkins is a constitutional sheriff who believes he has the power to supersede the federal government’s authority.
Barnstable County (Cape Cod) Sheriff: Democratic nominee Donna Buckley won the race with 52% of the vote, defeating Republican Timothy Whelan. Buckley ran on pulling the county out of the previous sheriff’s agreement to cooperate with Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) 287(g) program. “I’ve consistently talked about ending the 287(g) agreement,” she said. “That is priority number one.” Also key to Buckley’s campaign were increasing rehabilitation programs in county jails and ending contracts with private medical vendors.
Bristol County Sheriff: Democratic challenger Paul Heroux defeated far-right sheriff Thomas Hodgson, who has overseen jails in dismal condition and failed to provide adequate medical care to inmates. Hodgson is often compared to Joe Arpaio for his tactics, which included offering the use of Bristol County detainees to Donald Trump to help build a wall along the Mexican border and the reintroduction of chain gangs in Massachusetts.
Plymouth County Prosecutor: Republican Tim Cruz won re-election with 63% of the vote, defeating progressive challenger ACLU civil rights attorney Rahsaan Hall.
Hennepin County (Minneapolis) Prosecutor: Former public defender Mary Moriarty won the race with 58% of the vote, defeating “law and order” nominee Martha Holton Dimick. As Mother Jones reported earlier this year, “Moriarty played a key role in exposing racial disparities in traffic stops and undercover marijuana sting operations that [her predecessor County Attorney Michael] Freeman’s office failed to act on.”
Douglas County (Omaha) Prosecutor: Republican incumbent Don Kleine won the race with over 20,000 more votes, defeating Democratic challenger Dave Pantos. Kleine switched to the Republican party in October 2020 following criticism from state Democrats of his handling of racially charged cases. In particular, activists and lawmakers objected to Kleine’s refusal to bring charges against a white man who killed Black Lives Matter protester James Scurlock. Kleine was particularly upset by the Nebraska Democratic Party’s resolution stating that his decision “perpetuated white supremacy.”
Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) Sheriff: Democrat John Allen, a former sheriff’s deputy, won the race to replace the outgoing sheriff with 54% of the vote. Allen, who campaigned on reforming the sheriff’s office, claims he was pushed out of his previous job for disagreeing with outgoing Sheriff Manuel Gonzales.
Doña Ana County (Las Cruces) Sheriff: Democratic incumbent Sheriff Kim Stewart defeated Republican challenger Byron Hollister with 54% of the vote. Stewart became the first woman and first openly gay person to be sheriff of Doña Ana County when she won her first term in 2018. Hollister campaigned on forging closer ties with Border Patrol and sending deputies to the border for “drug busts.”
Alamance County Sheriff: Incumbent Republican Terry Johnson won re-election with 59% of the vote despite a past DOJ lawsuit against the sheriff for alleged discrimination against Latinos.
An investigation alleged deputies were four to 10 times more likely to stop Latinos than non-Latino drivers. It accused the sheriff and his office of fostering a culture of bias toward Latinos, using racial epithets like, “Go out there and catch me some Mexicans” and “Go out there and get me some of those taco-eaters.”
Columbus County Sheriff: Republican incumbent Jody Greene won the race for sheriff with 54% of the vote just weeks after resigning over racism and corruption allegations. Greene was recorded by then-Captain Jason Soles saying “I’m sick of these Black bastards,” referring to Black people in the law enforcement that he viewed as opponents. “I’m going to clean house and be done with it. And we’ll start from there.”
Forsyth County (Winston Salem) Prosecutor: Incumbent Republican Jim O’Neill won re-election with 51% of the votes—a 3,320 vote margin. O’Neill defeated his Democratic challenger by running on a “tough-on-crime” platform, fighting against legislation to legalize marijuana, and more aggressively pursuing the death penalty.
Pasquotank County Sheriff: Republican incumbent Tommy Wooten won re-election with 59% of the vote, defeating a Democratic challenger who ran on police reform and racial justice. Last year, Wooten came under criticism when his deputies shot and killed Andrew Brown Jr., an unarmed Black man, while executing a drug warrant. The deputies were not charged.
Wake County (Raleigh) Sheriff: Democratic nominee Willie Rowe won the race with 54% of the vote, defeating former sheriff Donnie Harrison. Voters ousted Harrison in 2018 over his cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) 287(g) program.
Oklahoma County (Oklahoma City) Prosecutor: Democratic nominee Vicki Behenna won the election with 54% of the vote, defeating Republican nominee Kevin Calvey, who ran on dropping charges against Oklahoma City police officers who killed 15-year-old Stavian Rodriguez in 2021. Behenna is a former federal prosecutor and served as the executive director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project
Bexar County (San Antonio) Prosecutor: Democratic incumbent Joe Gonzales defeated Republican challenger Marc LaHood with 56% of the vote. LaHood had the support of local and state police unions and promised to bring back aggressive prosecution of low-level offenses like marijuana possession.
Dallas County Prosecutor: Democratic incumbent John Creuzot defeated Republican challenger and former DA Faith Johnson for the second time, winning with 61% of the vote. The race focused on allegations that Cruezot’s criminal justice reforms—like not prosecuting first time marijuana possession—were too “soft” on crime.
Hays County Prosecutor: Democratic nominee Kelly Higgins defeated Republican David Puryear with 53% of the vote, winning the race to replace “tough on crime” GOP DA Wes Mau. “My promise is not prosecuting simple marijuana possession,” Higgins, a former criminal defense attorney, said. Higgins also ran on not prosecuting abortions.
Tarrant County (Fort Worth) Prosecutor: Republican nominee Phil Sorrells defeated Democrat Tiffany Burks with 53% of the vote, keeping the District Attorney’s office in Republican hands. Sorrells will replace outgoing Republican Sharen Wilson, who is responsible for the prosecution of Crystal Mason—a Black woman originally sentenced to five years in prison for mistakenly believing she could vote. Unlike Burks, Sorrell will enforce the state’s abortion ban with no apparent exceptions.
Spokane County Prosecutor: Republican incumbent Larry Haskell won re-election with 56% of the vote, defeating Democratic challenger and criminal justice reform advocate Deb Conklin. Haskell came under fire earlier this year when local media uncovered racist posts by his wife, who calls herself a white nationalist, on social media platform Gab. “Our race is dying, we need to make more White babies!” Lesley Haskell wrote.
- Clark County (Vancouver) Sheriff: Former sheriff’s deputy John Horch leads far-right nominee Rey Reynolds by 17%, or 22,000 votes, with about 70,000 ballots left to tally. Reynolds is a constitutional sheriff who believes he has the power to override the federal government’s authority. He is also under investigation for anti-LGBTQ comments he made on a Christian show, suggesting that he would arrest people for being transgender.
- King County (Seattle) Prosecutor: Leesa Manion, the current chief of staff to retiring Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, leads “tough on crime” candidate Jim Ferrell by 11%, or 50,000 votes, with an estimated 195,000 ballots left to count. Manion supports diversion programs offering alternatives to traditional prosecution and incarceration.
- Klickitat County Sheriff: Controversial constitutional Sheriff Bob Songer leads the more moderate Republican nominee, Garique Clifford, by just 0.2%, or 17 votes. There are 2,185 ballots left to tally.