Labor Federation endorses Jackie Lacey for Los Angeles County DA

Jackie Lacey greets one of her supporters at the Sportsmen's lodge on June 5th, 2012.
Jackie Lacey greets one of her supporters at the Sportsmen's lodge on June 5th, 2012.
KPCC/Mae Ryan

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The biggest conglomeration of labor unions in Los Angeles County Tuesday announced its endorsement of Jackie Lacey to be L.A.’s top criminal prosecutor.

“She has the experience and commitment to work for a safer community and to be a powerful advocate for justice for all," said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor.

Lacey, who's second in command behind the current district attorney Steve Cooley, said she has deeps roots in the labor movement.

"My father cleaned parking lots for the City of Los Angeles and my mother was a cook for LAUSD after working as a factory garment worker,” Lacey said in a statement released by the federation. “I understand the importance of the labor movement in working for decent living standards for working families.”

The federation endorsed Lacey, a Democrat, over Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, a Republican. The race is officially nonpartisan. Lacey is seeking to become the first woman and first African-American district attorney in L.A. County history.

In one respect, labor’s endorsement of Lacey is a surprise. The union that represents front-line prosecutors sharply criticized her after she testified in defense of Cooley in a lawsuit that claimed the D.A. was anti-labor.

That union — the Association of Deputy District Attorneys — endorsed Danette Myers in the primary. It has yet to back anyone in the run-off.

Perhaps the more important endorsements in the race are those of the powerful unions representing LAPD officers and L.A County deputy sheriffs. Neither has announced who they’ll back. Both have the capacity to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on political advertising.

Jackson, a prosecutor in the major crimes division, touts the backing of two dozen smaller police unions and chiefs throughout L.A. County. He finished second to Lacey in the primary election, 24 percent to 32 percent.