Sacramento DA Schubert Jumps in Race for California AG

Career prosecutor Anne Marie Schubert promises to offer voters a conservative option in the 2022 attorney general election and lambasts her opponent and Democratic lawmakers for being soft on crime.

Flanked by crime victims and their families, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announces her run for California attorney general in this April 26 screenshot.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CN) — Hoping to capitalize on her recent leading role in capturing California’s Golden State Killer, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert announced Monday she’s running for attorney general in 2022.  

The career prosecutor kicked off her bid to unseat newly appointed Attorney General Rob Bonta by accusing state lawmakers — which Bonta was before his appointment — and fellow DAs of being soft on crime. She told reporters victims are being tossed aside by California’s “chaotic” criminal justice system and that she can offer the antithesis to the progressive approach of metropolitan areas like San Francisco and Los Angeles.

“Politicians and, really, rogue prosecutors are dictating policies that destroy victims’ rights and endanger public safety,” Schubert said. “Here is the truth: California’s criminal justice system is in chaos.”  

Schubert, 57, is gunning to replace incumbent Bonta, who was sworn in as attorney general just last week. The Republican-turned-independent candidate figures to present voters a more conservative choice than Bonta, who was tapped as California’s top cop by Governor Gavin Newsom last month.

Flanked by a row of crime victims and their family members, Schubert condemned her new opponent for supporting criminal justice reforms during his over eight years in the state Assembly. Schubert railed on Bonta and the state’s Democratic-controlled Legislature for enacting a stream of reforms over the last decade that she says are not just confusing, but have resulted in reduced sentences for violent offenders.

“Let me be clear, the newly appointed attorney general has voted for and supported policies and laws that are not only destroying the rights of crime victims, but are destroying public safety in this state,” said Schubert.

Bonta, a Democrat, was one of the lead sponsors of the push to end California’s cash-bail system and wrote legislation requiring the attorney general’s office to investigate all fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians. In announcing his AG choice, Newsom called Bonta a “national leader in the fight to repair our justice system” who will strive to “reverse systematic injustice.”  

A Sacramento native, Schumbert came to prominence in 2018 when she announced the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, cementing a 40-year manhunt for the so-called Golden State Killer. Schubert’s office in cooperation with various other law enforcement agencies linked DeAngelo to the horde of crimes from the 1970s and 1980s through a relative’s DNA genetic test.

DeAngelo eventually pleaded guilty to 13 murders and was sentenced to 26 life terms by a Sacramento County Superior Court judge this past August.  

In a nod to DeAngelo’s capture, Schubert proclaimed herself as a “national leader” in the use of the fledgling law enforcement strategy.

According to her new campaign website, Schubert has accrued a diverse record fighting crime in Sacramento over the last 30 years.  

“While Anne Marie Schubert may be best known for the successful investigation, arrest and conviction of the Golden State Killer, she has made a career of protecting kids from sexual predators and human trafficking and making sure violent criminals are held accountable for their crimes,” she claims. “She has aggressively prosecuted major corporations for practices that harm the environment and has worked to get illegal firearms off the streets and is an international expert in DNA investigations.”

Still more than 18 months away from the general election, Schubert joins Bonta and former U.S. Assistant Attorney General Nathan Hochman in the attorney general race.

Aside from the Golden State Killer case, Schubert grabbed headlines in 2019 when she decided not to bring charges against two Sacramento police officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark — an unarmed Black man — in his grandparents backyard. During a lengthy weekend press conference to announce her decision, Schubert delved deeply into Clark’s personal life and mindset while defending her refusal to prosecute, claiming he was on drugs and potentially suicidal.

Schubert, who would become California’s first openly gay attorney general if she advances first in a primary and then eventual runoff, also helped crack the lid this year on the state’s ongoing unemployment fraud woes.

“I am relentless in seeking the truth, regardless of what that truth is,” Schubert said in her debut pitch to California voters.

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