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StatementJudge Denies Challenge to Rachel Rossi’s Ballot Designation as ‘Public Defender’ in Race for L.A. District Attorney

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Gascon campaign led the challenge of Rossi’s use of ‘Public Defender, Federal’ as ballot designation

Tuesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff ruled that Rachel Rossi lawfully listed “Public Defender, Federal’ as her ballot designation in her campaign for Los Angeles County District Attorney. Last week, Rossi was made aware by George Gascon’s campaign that they were leading a challenge to her ballot designation filed for the March 3rd Presidential Primary election. Gascon, the former San Francisco District Attorney, is also running for Los Angeles County District Attorney.

“I was disappointed that George Gascon’s team decided to challenge my ballot designation when I correctly listed my former occupation on the ballot as a federal public defender,” stated Rossi. “It is unfortunate that we spent Christmas Eve in court defending a baseless challenge. I am happy, however, that the judge agreed with us today and denied the petitioner’s frivolous petition.”

She continued, “I have been an attorney for ten years, and have committed almost seven and a half of those years serving as a public defender in L.A. County and the Federal Public Defender’s Office, up until I resigned in February of this year. As the judge ruled today, my ballot designation describing my former job as a federal public defender is appropriate under the law. I am proud to be the first former public defender to run for L.A. County District Attorney.”

Rossi’s attorney Marc Williams with Cohen-Williams added, “We are pleased that the Court followed the law and issued the correct ruling today. Rachel Rossi’s ballot designation emphasizing her experience as an Assistant Federal Public Defender is truthful, accurate and lawful.”

California Elections Code Section 13107 expressly permits candidates to use “no more than three words designating either the current principal professions, occupations or occupations or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.” Elections Code § 13107(a)(3) (emphasis added).

Rachel Rossi will appear on the March Presidential Primary Ballot in Los Angeles County with the ballot designation of “Public Defender, Federal.”

Click here to read the ruling.

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