Former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin has raised over $380k since launching his campaign in March.
SANTA ANA – Today, Pete Hardin’s campaign for Orange County District Attorney announced a record haul of $380,181.72 for the filing period that ended on June 30. That amount surpasses any total amount of direct contributions (not transferred from another campaign committee) reported by an Orange County DA candidate in an off-year report. Hardin is running against a scandal-plagued incumbent and lifetime politician, Todd Spitzer, who has presided over increases in crime and homelessness in spite of “buil[ding] his career on tough-on-crime rhetoric.”
“Each day, I speak with residents from every corner of the county, from every profession and political persuasion who are fed up with our current DA’s endless scandals and lawsuits, including unethical treatment of survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and dishonest pay for play practices” said former Marine Judge Advocate Pete Hardin. “He has failed to keep us safe — homicides are up, homelessness has skyrocketed, hate crimes have soared, and property crimes have become commonplace. In the midst of this unraveling of community safety, our current DA exploits crime survivors as media props instead of fighting for the justice they deserve. Orange Countians want leadership, not showmanship, and they recognize the need to move our criminal justice system into the 21st century. They want a leader who will ensure their safety, and they’re contributing the resources necessary to make it happen.”
Current Orange County District Attorney Republican Todd Spitzer’s tenure has been defined by scandal. Four women in Spitzer’s office have filed claims asserting Spitzer promoted an employee and close friend despite having been made aware of the sexual harassment complaints against him. Spitzer later allowed the employee, who was the best man at his wedding, to retire with top-flight benefits. Spitzer also attempted to drop sexual assault charges against high-profile defendants, leading a judge to remove him from the case. Survivors of the sexual assault survivors were “dragged through the mud” and “grossly mistreated” by Spitzer for two and a half years, leading two of them to abandon their case.
Spitzer has been involved in an evidence booking scandal, a jailhouse informant scandal, and has defamed a victim of OC’s deadliest mass shooting as retaliation for peaceful protest. Spitzer has also defended a DNA collection program known informally as “Spit and Acquit” that coerces defendants to give up their DNA to law enforcement, a practice the ACLU has called “unconstitutional.“
Pete Hardin is a former Judge Advocate in the U.S. Marine Corps, Deputy District Attorney, Special Assistant United States Attorney, and one of Southern California’s leading litigators running for Orange County District Attorney. Pete entered public service when, in 2005, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. A combat veteran, Pete served in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012 as a member of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. Pete is a member of the Democratic Party.
Orange County’s rapidly changing electorate has led Democrats to now outnumber Republicans in Orange County holding a 4.1% voter registration advantage.