SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It’s a police shooting that has thrust Sacramento into the national spotlight and has added an extra glare to the race for Sacramento County District Attorney.
On June 5, Sacramento County voters will pick either current D.A. Anne Marie Schubert or her challenger, deputy district attorney Noah Phillips.
Even though the protesters’ calls for charges against officers in the March shooting of an unarmed black man have quieted down, the noise they made set the early tone for Schubert’s re-election bid.
“There’s no question it’s been a disruption,” she said. “They’ve done things, tried to take over the back parking lots, they’ve surrounded cars, they’ve screamed at people, they’ve taunted people into hitting them.”
Schubert says those taunts have grown into personal attacks.
“There’s probably never in my career of 28 years been a situation like this where I’ve received more hate mail, vulgar comments,” she said.
It’s nothing she can’t handle, she said. Neither is the fact that the person who wants her job is someone who works for her.
Deputy district attorney turned outspoken critic Phillips says the decision to run against his boss wasn’t easy.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make,” he said. It certainly created some fissures in the office, but the work we do is incredibly important, and I saw a system that was broken.”
That, he says, is partly because of Schubert’s relationship with law enforcement.
“The district attorney, the relationship with the police department and the sheriff’s department is too cozy,” he said. “It doesn’t work.
Schubert touts those relationships in her campaigns numerous endorsements, even though she’s lost some political support in the aftermath of the Stephon Clark shooting.
“I’ll say this all day long: I’m proud to be supported by law enforcement,” she said. “The individual running against me sought those same endorsements and did not get them.”
What Phillips has received is criticism of his own, including allegations of prosecutorial misconduct during a murder trial and how he responded to a racist and sexist joke sent to him on a work computer by a relative.
Both candidates can agree that the role of district attorney has never been more important or more scrutinized.
Experts say Schubert’s campaign is still riding high from the April arrest of Joseph DeAngelo, the suspected East Area Rapist and Golden State Killer. Phillips has recently picked up a key endorsement from Sen. Kamala Harris.