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Former Prosecutor Seeks Interim DA Post And Promises Not To Run For The Job Next Year

Former prosecutor Adam Gordon discusses his decision to seek the interim dist...

Photo by Guillermo Sevilla

Above: Former prosecutor Adam Gordon discusses his decision to seek the interim district attorney position at KPBS, May 1, 2017.

Adam Gordon is asking other interim applicants to also promise not to pursue the office in next year's district attorney's race.

There is a move afoot to block San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' preferred successor from getting a leg up in the DA race next year.

Former prosecutor Adam Gordon announced Monday he is applying to become the interim DA. But he said he does not want the job permanently.

“The voters should decide alone the next district attorney,” said Gordon who practices business litigation.

"A process which results in the appointment of a declared candidate as the interim district attorney defeats the community's right to vet publicly, thoroughly and equally every candidate for district attorney. I pledge not to seek election in 2018 even if appointed interim district attorney to ensure the voters have that full and fair opportunity."

Dumanis announced last month she is leaving the DA’s office in July before her term runs out in 2018. Dumanis has endorsed Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan who is running to replace her boss next year.

But political factions across the spectrum are worried that the San Diego County Board of Supervisors is gearing up to choose Stephan as Dumanis’s interim replacement when she resigns as DA in July.

They argue that would give Stephan an unfair boost in the DA election through the power of incumbency and in effect allow Dumanis to anoint her successor.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who is chair of the board, declined to comment citing the early stages of the application process.

But San Diego County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jessica Hayes said giving handpicked successors an advantage is a well-worn tradition in the region.

“This is a typical Republican ploy,” Hayes said. “The predecessor leaves early and the board of supervisors appoint a replacement. It subverts the process for the voters to select. It’s a deceptive practice.”

Stephan declined to say whether she would seek the interim DA post until after the supervisors meet Tuesday to decide the process for filling the DA vacancy.

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