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Jill Ravitch kicks off re-election campaign for D.A.'s office

  • Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch, center, was hosted by Katie Jackson, left, during a kick-off fundraiser for her re-election campaign at the Kendall Jackson Wine Center in Santa Rosa on Thursday night, June 13, 2013. (John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

Three years after voters chose her to be Sonoma County district attorney, Jill Ravitch launched her re-election campaign Thursday night, hosting a fundraiser attended by as many as 250 supporters that included elected officials and community leaders.

Ravitch, who defeated two-term incumbent Stephan Passalacqua in June 2010, got into campaign mode at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center in Santa Rosa, asking for four more years to expand her key initiatives to fight elder abuse, violence against women and mortgage fraud.

The 54-year-old Sebastopol resident said she's had a successful first term despite hurdles such as budget cuts and a statewide prison system overhaul that shifted responsibilities to counties. She pointed to endorsements by the five-member county Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Steve Freitas and various business and neighborhood interests as a sign of her widespread approval.

Jill Ravitch Fundraiser

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"I am looking forward to celebrating what has been an amazingly fast three years and talking about what lies ahead," Ravitch said before her campaign kickoff.

Freitas, who also is up for re-election, said he's had good communication and a "respectful relationship" with his law enforcement partner the past three years.

"We respect and honor each other's independence," Freitas said. "What I really like about Jill is she cares about victims of crimes and their rights. I really respect that about her."

So far, no candidate has emerged to challenge Ravitch. The election is June 3.

Dave McCuan, Sonoma State political science professor, said it seems unlikely that a serious challenger will surface given her community exposure and lack of any major public controversy. Plus, it will be difficult to find someone willing to risk the money — the last race cost each candidate more than $200,000.

Ravitch, who just started fundraising, has about $25,000 in the bank, she said.

"This is going to be a status quo election," McCuan said.


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