Race for District Attorney could be a tight one

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SAN DIEGO — Bonnie Dumanis will face her toughest reelection challenge as district attorney Tuesday as voters go to the polls for the primary election.

Dumanis, who is seeking a fourth term, faces lawyer Robert Brewer and former county prosecutor Terri Wyatt. She was unopposed in her previous reelection races.

District Attorney Bonnie DumanisTwo years after Dumanis finished fourth in a primary election for mayor of San Diego, Brewer and Wyatt accuse her of politicizing the office and say she’s worn out her welcome after a dozen years on the job.

“I’ll take politics out of the DA’s office,” Brewer proclaimed in a television commercial. “I won’t endorse or run for any other office.”

Brewer, who has been endorsed by organizations representing a large number of law enforcement officers, has blasted Dumanis for her prosecutions of public officials in the South Bay and has tried to link her to a Mexican businessman accused of illegally funding San Diego political campaigns.

Wyatt, who worked in the District Attorney’s Office for 27 years, said “a career prosecutor” should hold the position. She said when officials are in office too long, decisions become motivated by politics.

For her part, Dumanis denies that she has politicized the office and points to a strong conviction rate by the prosecutors who work under her, though the specific numbers are disputed.

“We need to keep doing what we’re doing, because it’s working,” she said in a recent debate.

She has received endorsements from area political and law enforcement leaders, as well as many prosecutors in her office and the parents of murder victims in high-profile cases.

Tuesday’s ballot also includes a large number of judicial races. While the vast majority of the judges will be returned to the bench, Superior Court Judge Lisa Schall is facing a strong challenge from federal prosecutor Carla Keehn.

The former Army captain has slammed Schall, a judge for three decades, for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving six years ago after she had been charged with drunken driving and for two previous admonishments by the state Commission on Judicial Performance.