DFA launches “Criminal Justice Reform Champions” slate backing 10 for Sheriff, DA, Judge

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) announced the first ten endorsements on a new criminal justice reform-focused slate of progressive candidates for sheriff, District Attorney, and judge in communities across the country.  

The ten candidates DFA is endorsing today and adding to the slate are:

  • Diana Becton for District Attorney (Contra Costa County, CA)
  • Eric Higgins for Sheriff (Pulaski County, AR)
  • Dean Johansson for District Attorney (Yolo County, CA)
  • Genevieve Jones-Wright for District Attorney (San Diego County, CA)
  • Patrick Kolasinski for District Attorney (Stanislaus County, CA)
  • Aurora Martinez Jones for District Judge (Austin, TX)
  • Donna Patalano for District Attorney (Middlesex County, MA)
  • Noah Phillips for District Attorney (Sacramento County, CA)
  • Rachael Rollins for District Attorney (Suffolk County, MA)
  • Frayla Tarpinian for District Attorney (Cumberland County, ME)

Over its 14-year history, DFA has supported a number of candidates dedicated to challenging structural racism in our criminal justice system, like Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx in Illinois (2016) and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (2017). In fact, just last month, DFA successfully backed progressive Joe Gonzales in a successful effort to oust a conservative Democratic incumbent in a primary fight for Bexar County District Attorney.   

However, this is the first time that DFA has backed a nationwide slate of candidates for sheriff, District Attorney, and judge specifically focused on criminal justice reform.

In addition to its endorsement, DFA will provide campaigns on its Criminal Justice Reform Champions slate with direct financial and field support -- recruiting grassroots volunteers from its million person network of member leaders, providing access to cutting-edge voter contact technology, and connecting local members directly to the campaigns near them.

DFA’s Chair Jim Dean on the launch of the organization’s Criminal Justice Reform Champions slate and the 2018 elections:

“In the last week, Alton Sterling's killers walked away scot-free in Baton Rouge, while community leaders in Sacramento fought for justice in the police-led murder of Stephon Clark, an unarmed father shot eight times in the back in his grandmother's backyard.  

“While many are focused this year on the opportunities for Democrats in federal and statewide elected offices, the fight for the changes needed to end police brutality, mass incarceration, and the systemic racism of our criminal justice system doesn’t start in Washington or a state capitol building.

“Local District Attorneys, Judges, and Sheriffs play a dominant role in what our justice system looks like and how it impacts local communities. Yet, all too often, these candidates don’t get nearly the level of scrutiny and demands for public accountability that a candidate for the U.S. or State House receives when they’re up for election.

"That’s why, today, Democracy for America is excited to announce our first ten endorsements on a nationwide slate of candidates for sheriff, District Attorney, and judge who have a deep-seated commitment to confronting the racial inequity and injustice that plagues our criminal justice system.

“In the weeks ahead, we’ll add to this slate of criminal justice reform champions, work with other groups who share our concerns, and continue building towards an election night in November that sees a new generation of elected leaders on the frontlines of our criminal justice system who are as committed to delivering the reform it needs as the activists in the streets who bravely protesting its present failures.”  -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Democracy for America is a member-driven, people-powered progressive PAC with more than one million members nationwide committed to taking on structural racism, income inequality, and money in politics. Since its 2004 founding, DFA members have raised and contributed more than $54 million and made more than 21.9 million volunteer calls to help successfully elect 917 progressive candidates nationwide.

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