Progressive prosecutor Patrick Vanier drops out of DA’s race backs Becton

Patrick Vanier. Herald file photo

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.

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