SANTA ANA–Following revelations that he made racist remarks about Black people in a meeting to decide if California should execute a Black man, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer is hemorrhaging support from conservative and liberal prosecutors alike from some of California’s largest counties. San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan, Riverside District Attorney Mike Hestrin, and Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley have all withdrawn their support for Todd Spitzer citing his “shocking” and racist comments. Newport Beach police have accused DA Spitzer of attempting to “cover up” the allegations and failing to inform the victim’s family.
“Weighing race while deciding whether a Black man should be executed isn’t justice, it’s a perversion of the oath of office,” said Former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “His supporters don’t want to co-sign on racism so they’re taking a stand and pulling their endorsement.”
Current Orange County District Attorney Republican Todd Spitzer’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Four women in Spitzer’s office have filed claims asserting Spitzer promoted an employee and close friend despite having been made aware of the sexual harassment complaints against him. Spitzer later allowed the employee, who was the best man at his wedding, to retire with top flight benefits. Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case. Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were “dragged through the mud” and “grossly mistreated” by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case.
Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, and has defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest. Spitzer has also defended a DNA collection program known informally as “Spit and Acquit” that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU has called “unconstitutional.”
Pete Hardin is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators running for Orange County District Attorney. Pete entered public service when, in 2005, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Pete is a member of the Democratic Party.
Orange County’s rapidly changing electorate has led Democrats to now outnumber Republicans in Orange County holding a 4.1% voter registration advantage.