In one of the final California election races to be certified, Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos won re-election over challenger Allison Jackson by just over 2,500 votes. Both are Democrats. Jackson, who had run on a hardline law and order platform, was supported by conservatives in Humboldt County. Jackson was fired in 2004 from the District Attorney's office where she had worked for a decade and has been in private civil practice.
In 2004 Gallegos faced a recall election funded in a large part by Pacific Lumber Company, which was at the time one of the county's largest employers -- Gallegos had sued PALCO for fraud centering around the company's destructive land use and timber harvesting. retained his office, and has continued to effect far-reaching change. In September, the Humboldt County DA's office negotiated a huge settlement against Skilled Health Group for their neglect of senior citizens. The DA's office also successfully prosecuted a wrongful death case under new California case law, winning a large judgment for the widow of a bicyclist struck and killed by a motorist. And this being Humboldt, Gallegos crafted thoughtful, responsible guidelines for medical marijuana growing.
I interviewed Gallegos before the election and was impressed by his vision of stewardship for the land, water and residents, his belief in personal responsibility and his support of self-determination. He also strives to marshal the resources of the DA's office to best serve the county's residents and by extension the state and nation (The Skilled Health Case affected nursing homes in four California counties and seven states, and his measured approached to medical marijuana could serve as a model for other states confronting the same challenges).
While Gallegos's vision reaches beyond the boundaries of Humboldt County, he is very focused on the overarching needs of the community. Gallegos' win, coupled with Kamala Harris' victory as Attorney General, maintains California as a progressive state geared towards the betterment of its populace through a judicious approach.