The County Board of Supervisors has a decision on its hands.
Greg Walden, a former deputy district attorney who retired after over 30 years in the office, is looking to become interim district attorney. Bonnie Dumanis, the current DA, announced last month that she’ll resign her seat in July, leaving the Board of Supervisors to appoint a temporary successor until the 2018 election.
Earlier this week, Adam Gordon, a former deputy district attorney who’s now in private practice, also applied for the position. Both Gordon and Walden have pledged not to run in the 2018 election.
They join Chief Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan, who is seeking the appointment and is already running for the seat in 2018. She’s collected a powerful list of bipartisan endorsements, including most of the county’s law enforcement and prosecutorial leaders.
But it’s the support of Dumanis that is giving people pause, and which drew Walden and Gordon into the fray. Stephan, meanwhile, said the concerns are nothing but trumped-up political machinations.
Earlier this year, Dumanis reportedly told supporters of her “succession plan,” in which she would resign early so the supervisors could appoint her chosen successor, who could then run in 2018 as an incumbent. Incumbency is a powerful advantage in down-ticket, low-information races.
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I listened to the podcast of the engaging interview with Summer Stephan and unless other information comes to light I would be strongly inclined to vote for her. I do have a problem with Dumanis resigning and getting her chosen successor appointed and having the mantle of being the incumbent and the advantages that provides. Comparisons with the Sheriff situation are not the same since Sheriff Kolendar had health issues that precluded his ability to perform. Perhaps even if he had not had health issues he would have resigned early anyway to give his preferred successor, Gore, a leg up but that was not the case. I think Gore is a fine Sheriff and certainly far better than the two opponents he had in his first election. Dumanis is resigning because of her apparent desire to run for the Board of Supervisors. Why she did not resign when she ran for Mayor is a question we will never get an honest answer to.