Robert Kennedy's Adult Children Endorse Opponent of DA George Gascon

AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File

George Gascon, the progressive district attorney in LA County, is running for reelection. The primaries demonstrated some real weakness in his appeal to voters. Though he won, the results show about 3/4 of voters would rather have someone else take over his job.


When the Los Angeles County District Attorney primary election was certified on March 29, the impact of the avalanche of criticism that landed on George Gascón was clear: The progressive incumbent garnered an anemic 25.2% of the vote. Sure, he came in first, but three of every four people who bothered to cast a ballot looked at him and said, nah, I’ll take what’s behind door number two.

Make that doors two through 12. A whopping 11 people challenged Gascón, including four of his deputy DAs. Former federal prosecutor Nathan Hochman emerged from the herd to finish in second place, grabbing just under 16%...

Team Gascón absolutely should worry. Many people who follow this stuff closely think it’s already game over, as there’s a narrative that the DA pays greater heed to people accused of crimes than he does victims. March showed that a sizable portion of the public disapproves of Gascón’s performance, and it is hard to win over voters when they have made up their mind about a politician.

Gascon's campaign took another big hit yesterday when two of Robert Kennedy's adult children came forward to announce they were endorsing Gascon's opponent in the race, Nathan Hochman.

Rory and Max Kennedy, a daughter and son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, announced Tuesday their support for the candidate trying to unseat LA County District Attorney George Gascón over what they say are Gascón's policies that disregard the needs of crime victims and in particular, bar prosecutors from participating in parole hearings for convicted murderers.

“He is not qualified to be the district attorney," Rory Kennedy said at a campaign event for Gascón's challenger, Nathan Hochman, on the steps of the Hall of Justice in Downtown LA.

"Gascon prohibits his prosecutors from filing charges they believe are appropriate," she said. "He boycotts parole hearings and leaves grieving victims to fend for themselves.”


The Kennedys have a specific reason for turning their backs on George Gascon. Their father Robert Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles in 1968. They have attented parole hearings for his killer Sirhan Sirhan 15 times over the years. Each time they were accompanied by a representative from the DA's office. But that stopped after Gascon was elected.

“I contacted the district attorney's office, and the attorney, who had been assigned to it, told me she was not allowed to, accompany us," said Max Kennedy.

The parole board recommended Sirhan's parole in 2022 but it was overturned by Gov. Newsom. In 2023 the parole board again considered his release without a representative from the DA's office but this time denied him. 

Gascon's policy is to not send deputy DAs to parole hearings to better balance "equity" with public safety.

After prosecutors did not go to a 2021 parole hearing for Charles Manson follower Bruce Davis, a spokesperson said Gascón believed that state parole officials, not prosecutors, were best equipped to make judgments about whether to release inmates. Manson, a cult leader, was sentenced to death in 1971 for directing the brutal murders of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people in Los Angeles.

“The prosecutors’ role ends at sentencing,” the spokesperson said. “There’s been a tug of war between public safety versus equity. The DA believes you can do both.”

When Sirhan became parole eligible in 2021, seven members of the Kennedy family issued a statement saying that Sirhan “continues to deflect blame for his crime through 16 parole hearings.” They called the murder of Robert Kennedy one of history’s most infamous crimes. 


Here's a local news report on the announcement. "I think that his polices are crazy, absolutely crazy," Max Kennedy said. When you're right, you're right.

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