Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer announced Monday that he’ll run in the June 2018 election to replace OC district attorney Tony Rackauckas. The two Republicans have a longtime rivalry and Spitzer’s run to take over as the county’s top prosecutor was expected.
Rackauckas, a former Superior Court judge, has held the DA post since 1998 and was Spitzer’s boss when Spitzer worked as an assistant district attorney from 2008 to 2010. Rackauckas was once expected to endorse Spitzer to take over his job, but he abruptly fired his underling in 2010.
Spitzer has since been critical of Rackauckas, particularly of his handling of a scandal involving the DA’s and OC Sheriff’s Department’s use of jailhouse informants and failure to turn over evidence to defense teams.
In May, Spitzer asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to take over the DA’s office, citing what he said were "continuous revelations of scandal.”
Rackauckas called Spitzer's allegations ridiculous and accused him of using his public office to campaign.
In Spitzer's campaign announcement, he pledged to fight crime, be a champion for victims’ rights, and replace the “Rudderless Ship,” a reference to a recent report that was critical of Rackauckas’ leadership of the DA’s office.
Spitzer, a former state assemblyman, said he already has nearly $1.3 million in his campaign war chest.
Rackauckas won his last reelection bid, in 2014, with 73 percent of the vote against Democratic candidate Greg Diamond.