With seven states holding their primaries on Tuesday, perhaps the biggest upset came out of San Francisco, California, where incumbent District Attorney Chesa Boudin (D-Calif.) was successfully recalled in a landslide.
As reported by Axios, Boudin’s recall could mark a significant turning point in the rise of progressive prosecutors getting elected to district attorney positions all across the country, often with the backing of far-left billionaire George Soros. Boudin, like other far-left district attorneys, was accused of being soft on crime since he took office in 2020. His tenure was marked by a spike in crime throughout San Francisco, particularly brazen robberies of various convenience stores in broad daylight, as well as assaults, an increase in public drug use, and a rise in homelessness.
The New York Times reports that, with 53 percent of the vote reporting in, the vote to recall Boudin had reached 60 percent (over 74,000 votes), while the votes against the recall remained at 40 percent (just under 50,000 votes). Boudin was first elected in 2019, after District Attorney George Gascon (D-Calif.) announced his resignation to run for District Attorney of Los Angeles. In an election that utilized ranked-choice voting, Boudin narrowly won the final round with 50.8 percent of the vote, to interim DA Suzy Loftus’ 49.2 percent.
Boudin had campaigned as a “criminal justice reform” advocate who vowed to crack down on police rather than on criminals; early in his tenure, his office filed the first-ever homicide charges against a San Francisco police officer over an on-duty shooting. He also pushed for drug users to be sent to treatment centers to cater to their addiction, rather than sending them to jail.
Boudin’s anti-police and soft-on-crime outlook was molded by his upbringing as the son of domestic terrorists. His parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, were members of the far-left terrorist organization Weather Underground; their involvement in the 1981 Brink’s robbery in New York, which resulted in the deaths of two police officers and one security guard, led to them both being convicted of murder.
His mother spent 22 years in prison before being released on parole in 2003; she then served as an adjunct professor at Columbia State University, and died in May of 2022 at the age of 78. His father spent 40 years in prison until he was granted clemency by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) in 2021. While his parents were in prison, Boudin was raised by fellow Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.
During the campaign, Boudin repeatedly complained that “every single one of [the recall’s] ads has lies in it — every one,” and called the effort to remove him from office “unfair.” On election night after conceding defeat, Boudin claimed that he only lost because “right-wing billionaires outspent us three to one.”
Following Boudin’s loss, Mayor London Breed (D-Calif.) will appoint a new district attorney to serve as a temporary replacement until a permanent DA is elected in November. The stunning result in arguably the most far-left city in America could spell trouble for Boudin’s predecessor, George Gascon; currently serving as District Attorney of Los Angeles, Gascon is facing a similar recall attempt in November.