MARTINEZ — As Contra Costa approaches the one-year mark since then-District Attorney Mark Peterson resigned amid an illegal spending scandal that resulted in criminal charges, voters will soon be asked to pick the county’s next top law enforcement official.
Local elections rarely get widespread attention, but no state elected official holds more unilateral power than a DA. The DA has the ability to take away a person’s freedom and determine the fates of thousands of people who are charged with crimes. They also hold significant influence over the direction of not just local law enforcement but the whole criminal justice system.
In this June 5 election, there are three candidates: Diana Becton, the retired judge appointed to replace the former DA, Paul Graves, a senior deputy district attorney who oversees the county’s sexual assault and family violence unit, and Lawrence Strauss, a local defense attorney and former prosecutor.
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