Police Commissioner David Onek to Run for District Attorney if Kamala Harris Wins A.G. Post

Categories: Crime, Politics
David Onek
San Francisco Police Commissioner David Onek announced today that he plans to run for district attorney -- provided current D.A. Kamala Harris, his political ally, wins the November election for California attorney general and vacates the office early.

"DA Harris is a friend and I would never run against her, but her victory in November will open up the office as early as the end of this year," Onek said in a statement sent out via e-mail today. "This means the time to get organized is right now."

Onek is the executive director of the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law and a former legal-services lawyer and juvenile-justice activist. He was in the news earlier this year for his role in a kerfuffle over whether Supervisor David Campos inappropriately lobbied police commissioners with text messages during a hearing on TASER stun-guns. (Onek made public a text he had received from Campos calling his own, pro-TASER stance "very disappointing.")

The race to succeed Harris could get tricky. If she leaves office early to become A.G. -- and that's far from assured, since she's facing a tough opponent in Los Angeles D.A. Steve Cooley, the Republican nominee -- the mayor has the power to appoint her successor. However, since Mayor Gavin Newsom is also running for the statewide office of lieutenant governor and might be vacating his city post at the same time, the choice could fall to a new mayor appointed by the board of supervisors.

In other words, it's unclear at the moment exactly whose vote Onek should be seeking.

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