Today, Friday, January 12, 2018, Patrick Vanier, Supervising Prosecutor in Santa Clara County, and a candidate for Contra Costa County District Attorney issued the following statement:
“When I announced my candidacy for District Attorney last spring, I made it clear that my candidacy was not about me, but about bringing real reform to the office of District Attorney and instituting best practices to bring Contra Costa County’s criminal justice system into the 21st Century. I was the first to declare my candidacy to challenge former DA Mark Peterson and I am proud to have started the dialogue for change.
A little more than a month later, Mark Peterson resigned from office. Upon his resignation, the County initiated an appointment process to fill the vacancy. I was honored to be selected by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors as a finalist in that process.
During the appointment process in the summer and fall, I again made it clear that if a person was appointed who can bring progressive leadership to the office of District Attorney and will modernize and standardize how cases are prosecuted, I may not seek election.
Ultimately, the Board of Supervisors voted to appoint retired Judge Diana Becton to be District Attorney. (See related article) Although I was disappointed in not receiving the appointment, I respected the Supervisors’ decision as they recognized the importance of selecting a candidate from outside the dysfunction of the current office. While I was in this race to win, as I felt that I possess the skills this County needs, I also realize the importance of ensuring that change does indeed occur.
Over the past several months I have been following the developments within the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office under District Attorney Diana Becton. I believe she has undertaken a course of action to run the department in an honest and ethical manner and will utilize the latest technologies, data analytics, and community prosecution models to prevent crime and prosecute cases. I want this County to be focused on ensuring that change continues.
For these reasons, I have decided to withdraw from the race for Contra Costa County District Attorney and fully support and endorse Diana Becton.
I want to thank my supporters for their unflagging support and encouragement and I will be urging them to support Diana Becton.”
On his campaign website, Vanier said he offered “progressive leadership” to the people of Contra Costa County. With him out of the race the remaining candidates, currently are the appointed incumbent, Interim Contra Costa DA Becton and Contra Costa Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves, who entered the race last spring to take on Peterson, prior to his resignation and has the support of most law enforcement organizations in the county. If no other candidates enter the race the winner of the Primary Election in June will be elected. According to the County Elections Office website, the filing period for the election begins February 12 and ends March 9.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.
Ralph Golfer says
Patrick Vanier’s withdrawal indicates to me he’s a class act. After Peterson resigned – and the Board appointed this highly regarded Superior court Judge Diana Becton to the DA’s job – the pressing need for Vanier’s candidacy just wasn’t there anymore. So he pulled the plug on his campaign.
As he pointed out when he withdrew, DA Becton is doing a lot of the reforms Vanier would have done had he gotten the job .Obviously to Vanier the important thing isn’t who got the top job, the thing that really mattered is that the Contra Costa DA office be reformed – no more corruption and cronyism at the DA’ s – the office must be above reproach.
So far, from what I’m hearing, Becton is proving to be a skillful leader at the DA’s office – one with a high degree of integrity too. She is making a strong case she deserves to be elected to the permanent DA’s job by Costa’s voters.
Now that Vanier has gotten out – strongly endorsing Becton – I do think the other candidate mulling a run, Paul Graves, ought to consider dropping out of the race too. With Vanier endorsing Becton, Graves chances of unseating Becton – which were never very good given he was part of the disgraced ex DA’s Mark Peterson’s management team – have gotten even worse.
Because Becton is getting high marks from most – so far anyway – there is really little reason for voters to kick her out and replace her with Graves. Many voters, including myself, were just thrilled to see our first women DA; it took 160 years before a women got a chance to be the head DA in our county! Many thought her appointment to be triumph
. If Graves stays in the race he’s just going to end up looking like a disgruntled spoiler, still angry that the Board passed on him, instead appointing a women to the job. I don’t think too many voters will go into the polls saying “Hey, let’s un-shatter the glass ceiling”.