Los Angeles, CA

Hochman to Enter LA DA Race after Losing Big to Bonta, Failed Gascon Recall Co-Chair Steve Cooley is Key Supporter

Cece Woods / Newsbeat LA

Nathan HochmanPhoto byBallotpedia

The 2024 L.A. District Attorney race is heating up with some controversial players entering the arena.

Nathan Hochman, a long-time Republican who lost big in the November 2022 California Attorney General race by over a 1.5 million votes, is formally announcing his candidacy Monday, April 3rd, for Los Angeles District Attorney, according to a press release sent out Friday morning.

Hochman's Twitter account was recently updated to reflect his candidacy for LA DA.

Hochman's twitter reflecting his candidacy for DA.Photo byCece Woods

After the devastating loss at the polls just a few months ago, why would Hochman want to go back into the ring for another potential political smackdown?

Powerful political insiders are telling The Current Report Hochman's efforts smell more like a money grab than a true attempt to take the DA's election, already filled with experienced Deputy District Attorneys who have already invested a considerable amount of time in the press opposing their opposing their boss, George Gascon since he took office.

Bait and Switch

Hochman locally is best-known for defending former Sheriff Lee Baca in his federal trial. Baca was ultimately convicted and on May 12, 2017, Baca was sentenced to three years in federal prison for his role in a scheme to obstruct an FBI investigation of abuses in county jails. Baca reported to prison and began his sentence on February 5, 2020.

mg src="https://thecurrentreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Screen-Shot-2023-04-02-at-2.28.53-PM-1024x710.png" style="width:100%;border-radius:10px;margin-top:0" data-caption="Hochman, far right, with former Sheriff Lee Baca in 2017" data-credit="Nick Ut /AP" data-externalurl="http://thecurrentreport.com"/>
Hochman, far right, with former Sheriff Lee Baca in 2017Photo byNick Ut /AP

Recently, The Current Report received a text Hochman sent out personally (within the last two weeks) to elected Republican D.A.s throughout the state mentioning Steve Cooley, the co-chair of the failed Gascon Recall and his endorsement, asking for their support.

Text Hochman sent out to Republican elected DAs in CA.Photo byCece Woods

Additionally, Hochman, a long-time Republican, dumped his party switching to "No Party Preference" for the non-partisan LA District Attorney race.

Cooley openly throwing his support behind Hochman is telling, given the Gascon recall is still in litigation and headed to court April 6th, just days after Hochman formally announces his candidacy, with oral arguments are expected to be heard July 13th, 2023.

Many highly respected supporters of the recall and political insiders believe the court process is only to "save face" for Cooley and fundraiser Cassandra Vandenberg, who ran the PAC for the recall amassing over $8 million for the recall effort and now we are learning she will be fundraising for Hochman's campaign.

The first recall stopped abruptly in 2021, shortly before the first deadline to turn in signatures, to re-structure amid an inner power struggle. Vandenberg who was involved in the first effort, took control over the second recall and was the highest paid, raking in nearly $2 million dollars for her failed efforts. While both recall efforts did not result in getting George Gascon on the ballot to remove him from office, Vandenberg, Cooley, and their pool of political consultants pocketed millions of dollars and according to reports, could potentially have criminal implications.

Based on the in-depth report by Red State Managing Editor Jennifer Van Laar, who was in contact with a whistleblower within the recall campaign:

"The Recall George Gascón effort failed because the committee’s purse strings were controlled by political consultants who were being paid by the campaign, and who contracted with vendors on the basis of cronyism or financial gain instead of competency. Despite the vast sums of money raised and spent, the quality of the signatures submitted to LA County was “embarrassingly incompetent,” in the words of one former professional who viewed some of the materials provided to RedState.

Upcoming court dates for Gascon Recall.Photo byCece Woo</em>ds

Mike Netter, who helped spearhead the effort to recall Gavin Newsom, which was the largest volunteer effort in U.S. History, that was successful getting the Newsom recall to ballot, raising less than a third than both doomed Gascon efforts, had this to say about the recent impending announcement.

"It seems rather bizarre that Nate Hochman would abandon the Republican Party which endorsed him last election to align himself with those that have run two failed recall campaigns. I question the motivation of a man running for DA with experience only in white collar crime working with those who may be accused of white collar crimes themselves. Los Angeles needs a look of less corruption, not more. People have lost faith in both their city and county government, including the district attorney. Nathan Hochman just lost substantially in the LA vote for Attorney General. Is he running for the people of LA or just trying to create another fundraising machine to dilute others getting elected?"

November 2022 election in LA County.Photo byCece Woods

Based on Hochman's November 2022 results in L.A. County, the question is, why would he think his campaign would be viable?

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