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Becton takes victory for re-election as Contra Costa County district attorney

Incumbent poised for another full term in office; challenger Knox concedes after Election Night results

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton is set to continue in her position for a second full term after finishing Election Night more than 12 percentage points ahead of her internal challenger in the primary.

Diana Becton. (Contributed photo)

Becton, a retired Contra Costa County Superior Court judge who has served as DA since 2017, earned 56.01% of the vote, compared to the 43.99% by lone opponent Mary Knox, a longtime prosecutor in the county DA's office, according to results posted late Tuesday night. There are more ballots left to tally through next week, but Becton's lead would appear too large to supplant.

"Contra Costa voters have spoken," Becton said in a statement Wednesday. "They want a justice system that works for everyone. People showed up for this campaign through canvassing, at farmer's markets, making phone calls, texting -- and at the polls. I thank the people of Contra Costa County for believing that our justice system can keep us safe, and be more just and equitable."

Knox formally conceded the election in a statement via social media and a press release later Wednesday afternoon.

"I have been looking forward to the honor of serving you as your District Attorney," Knox said on Facebook. "Unfortunately, the votes are not with us and I have just conceded the election. I am so grateful to each of you for your incredible support of our campaign. I will continue my work as a prosecutor protecting the rights of crime victims and enforcing our laws to restore public safety to Contra Costa."

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Knox congratulated Becton on the win in a press release, and emphasized again that she would continue her work as a prosecutor and related efforts.

Mary Knox. (Contributed photo)

"I remain committed to my work to empower victims through my work as president of getVOCAL for Victims and will continue my work as a prosecutor," Knox said.

Becton campaigned on a progressive platform, highlighting her past and current work in the office with an eye toward contending with racial and other disparities in the criminal justice system. The efforts have included restorative justice programs and rehabilitation programs for non-violent offenses.

"Feeling safe in our homes and our communities is what we all deserve," Becton said. "That is why we will continue to focus on serious and violent crime, with supporting victims as our number one priority."

"We also know that we need to reimagine our system to make it work for everyone, not just the few," Becton continued:

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"The status quo has decimated entire communities, separated families, and relegated generations of Black and Brown communities as second class citizens. That is why we will continue working to reduce racial disparities in our systems. We also must continue to hold anyone who harms our communities accountable -- even if they are in elected office or wear a badge -- because that is what real safety demands."

For her part, Knox ran on a "tough on crime" platform, seeking to contrast with Becton's approach. The two faced off ahead of the election in a public safety candidate forum, moderated by the DanvilleSanRamon editorial team of publisher Gina Channell Wilcox and editor Jeremy Walsh, in which they highlighted contrasts between their positions.

"I was born and raised in Contra Costa County in a time when, during the summers, we hopped on our bikes and played in the walnut orchards … and our only rule was to be home by the time the streetlights came on," Knox said in her opening statement during the forum. "I was tremendously fortunate to grow up in a community that provided so many opportunities to children, as well as a healthy, happy and safe environment to grow up in."

Knox began her work as a prosecutor at the DA's office several decades ago, and added that she had been "training for this position for 37 years for this job to restore public safety in Contra Costa County. "

The two candidates debated on issues including pre-trial incarceration, the effectiveness of alternatives such as diversion programs, and Becton's filing of charges against now-former Contra Costa sheriff's deputy Andrew Hall, who was recently convicted of assault in the 2018 shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda – charges and a trial that came after Hall fatally shot a second man, Tyrell Wilson, while on duty in March 2021 in Danville.

As Election Day came closer, both candidates also faced scrutiny over high-profile campaign funding from special interest groups, with Becton receiving a total of more than $940,000 in funds from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC, and Knox receiving $190,000 from Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriff's Association Independent Expenditure PAC, as well as additional funds from law enforcement groups.

Becton, the first woman and the first Black person to hold the DA's seat in the county, was appointed to the position on an interim basis in 2017, following the resignation of Mark Peterson after he pleaded no contest to a count of perjury for using $65,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. She was ultimately selected unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, despite supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff initially supporting deputy DA Paul Graves as their top choice.

Becton would go on to defeat Graves in the 2018 primary election, in which she won the seat outright with just over 50% of the vote.

"I am committed to working with every community, and with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, to continue to make Contra Costa County safer and our system more fair for everyone," Becton said.

The win in Tuesday's primary election means that Becton, whose first full term is up in January, will be sworn in for a second four-year term that month, making her set to be in office through at least January 2027.

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Jeanita Lyman joined the Pleasanton Weekly in September 2020 and covers the Danville and San Ramon beat. She studied journalism at Skyline College and Mills College while covering the Peninsula for the San Mateo Daily Journal, after moving back to the area in 2013. Read more >>

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Becton takes victory for re-election as Contra Costa County district attorney

Incumbent poised for another full term in office; challenger Knox concedes after Election Night results

by / Danville San Ramon

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 9, 2022, 5:09 am

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton is set to continue in her position for a second full term after finishing Election Night more than 12 percentage points ahead of her internal challenger in the primary.

Becton, a retired Contra Costa County Superior Court judge who has served as DA since 2017, earned 56.01% of the vote, compared to the 43.99% by lone opponent Mary Knox, a longtime prosecutor in the county DA's office, according to results posted late Tuesday night. There are more ballots left to tally through next week, but Becton's lead would appear too large to supplant.

"Contra Costa voters have spoken," Becton said in a statement Wednesday. "They want a justice system that works for everyone. People showed up for this campaign through canvassing, at farmer's markets, making phone calls, texting -- and at the polls. I thank the people of Contra Costa County for believing that our justice system can keep us safe, and be more just and equitable."

Knox formally conceded the election in a statement via social media and a press release later Wednesday afternoon.

"I have been looking forward to the honor of serving you as your District Attorney," Knox said on Facebook. "Unfortunately, the votes are not with us and I have just conceded the election. I am so grateful to each of you for your incredible support of our campaign. I will continue my work as a prosecutor protecting the rights of crime victims and enforcing our laws to restore public safety to Contra Costa."

Knox congratulated Becton on the win in a press release, and emphasized again that she would continue her work as a prosecutor and related efforts.

"I remain committed to my work to empower victims through my work as president of getVOCAL for Victims and will continue my work as a prosecutor," Knox said.

Becton campaigned on a progressive platform, highlighting her past and current work in the office with an eye toward contending with racial and other disparities in the criminal justice system. The efforts have included restorative justice programs and rehabilitation programs for non-violent offenses.

"Feeling safe in our homes and our communities is what we all deserve," Becton said. "That is why we will continue to focus on serious and violent crime, with supporting victims as our number one priority."

"We also know that we need to reimagine our system to make it work for everyone, not just the few," Becton continued:

"The status quo has decimated entire communities, separated families, and relegated generations of Black and Brown communities as second class citizens. That is why we will continue working to reduce racial disparities in our systems. We also must continue to hold anyone who harms our communities accountable -- even if they are in elected office or wear a badge -- because that is what real safety demands."

For her part, Knox ran on a "tough on crime" platform, seeking to contrast with Becton's approach. The two faced off ahead of the election in a public safety candidate forum, moderated by the DanvilleSanRamon editorial team of publisher Gina Channell Wilcox and editor Jeremy Walsh, in which they highlighted contrasts between their positions.

"I was born and raised in Contra Costa County in a time when, during the summers, we hopped on our bikes and played in the walnut orchards … and our only rule was to be home by the time the streetlights came on," Knox said in her opening statement during the forum. "I was tremendously fortunate to grow up in a community that provided so many opportunities to children, as well as a healthy, happy and safe environment to grow up in."

Knox began her work as a prosecutor at the DA's office several decades ago, and added that she had been "training for this position for 37 years for this job to restore public safety in Contra Costa County. "

The two candidates debated on issues including pre-trial incarceration, the effectiveness of alternatives such as diversion programs, and Becton's filing of charges against now-former Contra Costa sheriff's deputy Andrew Hall, who was recently convicted of assault in the 2018 shooting death of Laudemer Arboleda – charges and a trial that came after Hall fatally shot a second man, Tyrell Wilson, while on duty in March 2021 in Danville.

As Election Day came closer, both candidates also faced scrutiny over high-profile campaign funding from special interest groups, with Becton receiving a total of more than $940,000 in funds from the California Justice & Public Safety PAC, and Knox receiving $190,000 from Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriff's Association Independent Expenditure PAC, as well as additional funds from law enforcement groups.

Becton, the first woman and the first Black person to hold the DA's seat in the county, was appointed to the position on an interim basis in 2017, following the resignation of Mark Peterson after he pleaded no contest to a count of perjury for using $65,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses. She was ultimately selected unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, despite supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff initially supporting deputy DA Paul Graves as their top choice.

Becton would go on to defeat Graves in the 2018 primary election, in which she won the seat outright with just over 50% of the vote.

"I am committed to working with every community, and with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, to continue to make Contra Costa County safer and our system more fair for everyone," Becton said.

The win in Tuesday's primary election means that Becton, whose first full term is up in January, will be sworn in for a second four-year term that month, making her set to be in office through at least January 2027.

Comments

C. R. Mudgeon
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 9, 2022 at 8:24 am
C. R. Mudgeon, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2022 at 8:24 am

It’s amazing to me that San Francisco voters have become more sensible than Contra Costa voters, in voting to recall Chesa Boudin. I guess crime has to get a bit more worse before Contra Costa voters also start to put two and two together.


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 9, 2022 at 8:34 am
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2022 at 8:34 am

Considering Contra Costa County had a pathetic 19.75% turnout, that's hardly a reflection of the county. More like a poll. God help us all with soft on crime Becton


Matty
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 9, 2022 at 8:53 pm
Matty, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 9, 2022 at 8:53 pm

Funny, she didn't thank scumbag George Soros for his $1M+ donation to her campaign?!?! I'm sure they are both happy that CCC criminals can just get released by her office after the disenfranchised county + city police departments do their job. Realistically, it probably didn't get her the full 12 point win, but now we know that if anyone runs against her, they'll need to have major campaign funding that is completely outsized for a medium sized county DA political race. When are we going to learn that these far lefties are systematically dismantling the legal system and the rule of law as we know it? Even SF finally got a clue. Do we need to wait for it to get that bad or worse?


Ana
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 10, 2022 at 8:49 am
Ana, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 10, 2022 at 8:49 am

Becton will continue to destroy the county. She is in SOROS’ pocket. No prosecutions for the Walnut Creek smash thieves nor the 3 blacks who attacked the elderly white couple on Locust recently. Gascon-Boudin-Becton—ignorant voters but SF woke up.


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jun 11, 2022 at 8:24 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2022 at 8:24 am

Reactionary white Republican Contra Costa County voters are exaggerating their concerns over the re-election of Ms. Becton.

We have laws that must be upheld but it is the District Attorney who ultimately decides what cases to prosecute.

Times have changed. Only conservative (aka white) Contra Costa County residents in fear of 'replacement theory' and the BLM movement are troubled.

An enlightened society takes all factors into consideration.


Felicity Walters
Registered user
Alamo
on Jun 11, 2022 at 1:20 pm
Felicity Walters, Alamo
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2022 at 1:20 pm

"We have laws that must be upheld but it is the District Attorney who ultimately decides what cases to prosecute."

Yes and some cases are 'wobblers'.

For the overly reactional and uninformed, these are cases that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

So why not charge a minor infraction as a misdemeanor thus sparing county taxpayers the added expenses of additional hearings and extended jail time?

A misdemeanor also carries the possibility of records expungement which can improve job prospects for those previously arrested and incarcerated.

Harsher punishments should be based on the severity of the crime and whether violence was involved.

Non-violent crimes can be resolved as civil matters if further warranted and only those with vindictive 'law & order' mindsets would push for stricter punishments.

Contra Costa County is fortunate to have Diana Becton as District Attorney as there are some residents here who are weary of living in the Dark Ages amongst a Neanderthal mentality.


Ana
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 11, 2022 at 2:29 pm
Ana, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2022 at 2:29 pm

Larry Elder-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas—Dnesh Dsousa—Star Parker-Charles Payne—Ben Carson—Condoleeza Rice Candace Owens would never support SOROS owned Becton. Can’t wait for crime to continue to go up!! ???????????? imagine if Becton voters were the primary victims! Just like Biden voters whining about gas/food prices ????????????????


Jennifer
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 11, 2022 at 2:46 pm
Jennifer, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 11, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Crime will continue to go up with a soft on crime DA. That's why San Francisco wised up and got rid of their progressive DA. Liberals will continue to coddle criminals and make excuses. Coddling criminals is pathetic.


Daphne Peters
Registered user
Alamo
on Jun 12, 2022 at 10:38 am
Daphne Peters, Alamo
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2022 at 10:38 am

"Larry Elder-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas—Dnesh Dsousa—Star Parker-Charles Payne—Ben Carson—Condoleeza Rice Candace Owens would never support SOROS owned Becton."

^ All of the aforementioned names are either 'white approved' conservative people of color, FOX News stalwarts, or a compromised and biased black Supreme Court Justice married to a white pro-insurectionist.

This speaks volumes in terms of who white conservatives find 'acceptable' when it comes to people of color in decision-making positions and the media.


Jeff Husted
Registered user
San Ramon
on Jun 12, 2022 at 11:40 am
Jeff Husted, San Ramon
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2022 at 11:40 am

In some ways, the conservative people of color mentioned above are either in denial of (1) who they are, (2) the blatant racism their ancestors had to endure from white people (both north & south), and/or (3) how they are actually being perceived by their white supporters who most likely view them as convenient pawns.

Sad but true.


Henry Callan
Registered user
another community
on Jun 12, 2022 at 12:44 pm
Henry Callan, another community
Registered user
on Jun 12, 2022 at 12:44 pm

One gets the impression that Republican voters in Contra Costa County would have preferred the likes of Rudy Giuliani over Diana Becton.

Or Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Tucker Carlson et al.

There's no middle ground in Contra Costa County...just narrow minds.


Caleb Jackson
Registered user
Danville
on Jun 13, 2022 at 2:46 pm
Caleb Jackson, Danville
Registered user
on Jun 13, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Are black suspects disproportionately arrested and incarcerated or is there a higher % of crime committed by African Americans especially in low-income environments?


Matty
Registered user
Blackhawk
on Jun 14, 2022 at 8:11 am
Matty, Blackhawk
Registered user
on Jun 14, 2022 at 8:11 am

Becton's ideology, record, and backing by USA-hating scumbags like Soros are the issues here. Period.


Chantelle Davis
Registered user
another community
on Jun 14, 2022 at 8:13 am
Chantelle Davis, another community
Registered user
on Jun 14, 2022 at 8:13 am

Sadly there is a higher % of crime perpetrated by lower income African Americans and the police do tend to single out black people out as a whole (racial profiling).

The problem is that the police oftentimes indiscriminately discriminate against ALL black people via harassment and intimidation. This is more common amongst white cops with racist attitudes.


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