'We need change': Deputy DA John McKinney to run against Gascón for LA County District Attorney

After 25 years in the DA's office, Deputy DA John McKinney announced his candidacy for Los Angeles County District Attorney and will challenge DA George Gascón in 2024.

McKinney said it is time for a change in leadership and direction. 

"I'm running to secure the future of LA. We're at a crossroads now where we have a district attorney who refuses to follow the law, apply the law, he has removed public safety as a legitimate concern of the district attorney, he has ignored victims and all of this has resulted in rise in crime in the form of record number of homicides, in recent memory, thefts are out of control. The people are having to make lifestyle changes, for example, people won't leave the house with their everyday jewelry on. It's just chaos on our streets and chaos in the district attorney's office," McKinney told FOX 11 News. 

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McKinney was hired as a prosecutor by then-LA District Attorney Gil Garcetti in 1998. He has served under four district attorneys, including Garcetti, Steve Cooley, Jackie Lacey, and Gascón.

Gascón took office in December 2020 and has been dogged by claims he is soft on crime with various directives, including not seeking the death penalty and a reluctance to try juveniles as adults.

RELATED: Los Angeles prosecutor pens scathing exit letter to progressive DA George Gascón: ‘Managerial dumpster fire’

There was an attempt to recall Gascón, but that was rejected in August 2022, with the county clerk's office saying organizers submitted only 520,050 valid petition signatures, short of the required amount.

Organizers of the recall effort had submitted over 715,000 signatures, but over 195,000 of those signatures were found to be invalid, according to Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean C. Logan.

At least 566,857 valid signatures are required to force a recall election.