Veteran prosecutor Summer Stephan announces candidacy for DA

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Summer Stephan

SAN DIEGO — Longtime San Diego County prosecutor Summer Stephan Thursday officially announced her candidacy for district attorney in next year’s election.

Stephan, the first to declare a run for the job, is a 27-year veteran of the DA’s office and has been chief deputy district attorney for four years. Earlier this week, she was endorsed by her fellow prosecutors.

The current district attorney, Bonnie Dumanis, previously announced she won’t run for reelection next year. There have been suggestions that Dumanis might step down before her term ends.

“Fighting for justice for victims of crime, being the voice for the vulnerable and the voiceless, and faithfully abiding by the principles of justice and integrity are what has driven me and will continue to drive me in safeguarding my community,” Stephan said. “I stand ready with strength forged in years of experience fighting for justice and public safety to lead the office as district attorney.”

Stephan has been in the public light most recently in her efforts to fight sex trafficking, a long-standing problem in the region.

“For 27 years Ms. Stephan has dedicated herself to doing justice by compassionately assisting crime victims, holding accountable those who commit crimes, and finding ways prosecutors can better serve our diverse community,” said Steve Walter, president of the San Diego County District Attorneys Association. “After many years as a tough as nails trial prosecutor, she is also a well-respected and effective leader within our office and beyond.”

In the courtroom, Stephan prosecuted several noteworthy cases, including a man who raped his sister-in-law and murdered the woman’s boyfriend in a jealous rage in Escondido, and fought to prevent the release of a sexually violent predator known for assaulting male hitchhikers.

In all, she tried more than 100 cases before juries and served as chief of the DA’s North County branch.