Pamela Price has all but certainly been elected to the District Attorney's Office in Alameda County, becoming the first Black person to hold the job — beating out opponent Terry Wiley to take over from retiring DA Nancy O'Malley. And this means that all three of the only current Black DAs in California, all women, are in the Bay Area.
Price claimed victory Friday, as KTVU reports, after gaining a 28,000 vote lead over Wiley — and after Wiley conceded the race.
"We did it! Tonight's numbers are a confirmation of our victory," Price tweeted, having gained a 53% to 46% lead. Calling out her soon-to-be predecessor, Price added, "For the last 10 years, the office has stood in the way of the progressive reforms ushered in by our California legislature and endorsed by Alameda County voters."
In a statement, Price further said, "This election was never about me, even though the opposition painted it that way. It was about implementing significant change in how justice works in our county."
"We have the opportunity to bring justice reform to Alameda County," Price added. "There are dozens of progressive DAs across this country making a real difference in lives of victims, families and communities. I know we can build a system for Alameda Co. with accountability, transparency and equity."
Price represents a changing of the guard, with Wiley having the endorsement of his current boss, the more moderate O'Malley.
As the Chronicle notes, Price's election will serve as another litmus test of the Bay Area's "appetite for more progressive versus more traditional prosecutors," just six months after the recall of Chesa Boudin in San Francisco.
Price joins Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton and San Francisco DA Brooke Jenkins as the only Black district attorneys in the state — Los Angeles County had the first in Jackie Lacey when she was elected a decade ago, and San Francisco of course had Kamala Harris, but both have left state office. And along with Becton and Jenkins considers herself a progressive — though Jenkins has cast herself at the more moderate end of progressive criminal justice reforms, which succeeded in helping her win in the election two weeks ago.
"There are so many layers of changes needed and it will take time to turn the wheels of justice in the right direction," Price says, "but I am confident that our ideas, plans and principles will be the guideposts in the journey of change."
Price pledged in a tweet to make Alameda County "stronger and safer" during her tenure. As one of her first moves, she is taking a page out of Boudin's playbook and says she plans on suing the sellers and manufacturers of ghost guns. She has also pledged to reduce the population at Santa Rita Jail and release more suspects pending trial — something that the sheriff's office has decried, especially near the start of the pandemic.
But Price will also be working with a new sheriff — Yesenia Sanchez beat out incumbent Greg Ahern, likely because of a string of incidents highlighting the mistreatment of inmates at Santa Rita.
Top image via Pamela Price for DA