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Yolo County district attorney race heats up ahead of election

The race for Yolo County district attorney is heating up with incumbent District Attorney Jeff Reisig and former public defender Cynthia Rodriguez on the ballot. Jeff Reisig has been Yolo County’s top prosecutor for 16 years. He said violent crime has skyrocketed during the pandemic and wants to stay in office to keep the community safe.Candidate Cynthia Rodriguez said the incumbent has had a good run — and it’s time for a change.With voting already underway through vote-by-mail ballots, Reisig said he has been busy getting his message out to the voters of Yolo County.He said if he is reelected he will focus on three top priorities: Reducing crime, tackling homelessness and implementing innovative programs to increase equity in the justice system. Yolo County resident and mother of four Cynthia Rodriguez said she brings 40 years of legal experience to the table.If elected she said she will prioritize public safety, champion equal justice, and stop the mass incarceration of people of color. Reisig said she has never prosecuted a case.”Frankly, I think it would be a disaster for Yolo County to have a chief prosecutor that has never actually prosecuted a single case in her life. That is a problem. These are complex cases that often involve serious bodily injury or death and we got a lot of crime, unfortunately,” Reisig said.”Seven thousand cases a year come into Yolo County. I handle it with my deputies and it’s only because I have that 30 years experience, 25 years as a prosecutor, that I’m able to shepherd those cases to successful completion.”Rodriguez said she believes she does have the experience, and called Reisig’s statement a “scare tactic.””I think it’s a scare tactic to make it seem like I’m going to walk in as a babe in the woods. Forty years, judges all across the state, state-federal court, I was doing these cases when he was in junior high so I do have the experience,” Rodriguez said.”That is the experience that lets me come to this office and say there are a long of things that we need to do to make it safer.”Her judgment is also being questioned after she received campaign contributions from the families of two convicted child molesters.”Frankly, I was outraged by it. When you are running for the district attorney to be the chief law enforcement officer, you do not take money from child molesters or their family members. She did, and she still hasn’t apologized for it. She has admitted it. She has admitted she took the money, and it’s just wrong. And I’ve said it from the beginning that people need to consider it because it shows you frankly where she is coming from.” Reisig said.In response to the controversy, Rodriguez said she did accept the money, but ended up donating it to a charity. “I receive money from almost 700 people. I think at this point, I don’t see all of the money, and I don’t know everybody who has contributed, so when it was pointed out to us that this was an issue with somebody, we took that money and gave it to Empower Yolo, which is a charity to reach out to women and children. That was the best I can do,” Rodriguez said.”I did not take any money purposely from anyone in particular. I took the money that people offered me, and I had no reason to suspect that things were going to come out like that.”The race is nonpartisan, and both candidates are urging residents to do their research and go out to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by June 7.

The race for Yolo County district attorney is heating up with incumbent District Attorney Jeff Reisig and former public defender Cynthia Rodriguez on the ballot.

Jeff Reisig has been Yolo County’s top prosecutor for 16 years. He said violent crime has skyrocketed during the pandemic and wants to stay in office to keep the community safe.

Candidate Cynthia Rodriguez said the incumbent has had a good run — and it’s time for a change.

With voting already underway through vote-by-mail ballots, Reisig said he has been busy getting his message out to the voters of Yolo County.

He said if he is reelected he will focus on three top priorities: Reducing crime, tackling homelessness and implementing innovative programs to increase equity in the justice system.

Yolo County resident and mother of four Cynthia Rodriguez said she brings 40 years of legal experience to the table.

If elected she said she will prioritize public safety, champion equal justice, and stop the mass incarceration of people of color.

Reisig said she has never prosecuted a case.

“Frankly, I think it would be a disaster for Yolo County to have a chief prosecutor that has never actually prosecuted a single case in her life. That is a problem. These are complex cases that often involve serious bodily injury or death and we got a lot of crime, unfortunately,” Reisig said.

“Seven thousand cases a year come into Yolo County. I handle it with my deputies and it’s only because I have that 30 years experience, 25 years as a prosecutor, that I’m able to shepherd those cases to successful completion.”

Rodriguez said she believes she does have the experience, and called Reisig’s statement a “scare tactic.”

“I think it’s a scare tactic to make it seem like I’m going to walk in as a babe in the woods. Forty years, judges all across the state, state-federal court, I was doing these cases when he was in junior high so I do have the experience,” Rodriguez said.

“That is the experience that lets me come to this office and say there are a long of things that we need to do to make it safer.”

Her judgment is also being questioned after she received campaign contributions from the families of two convicted child molesters.

“Frankly, I was outraged by it. When you are running for the district attorney to be the chief law enforcement officer, you do not take money from child molesters or their family members. She did, and she still hasn’t apologized for it. She has admitted it. She has admitted she took the money, and it’s just wrong. And I’ve said it from the beginning that people need to consider it because it shows you frankly where she is coming from.” Reisig said.

In response to the controversy, Rodriguez said she did accept the money, but ended up donating it to a charity.

“I receive money from almost 700 people. I think at this point, I don’t see all of the money, and I don’t know everybody who has contributed, so when it was pointed out to us that this was an issue with somebody, we took that money and gave it to Empower Yolo, which is a charity to reach out to women and children. That was the best I can do,” Rodriguez said.

“I did not take any money purposely from anyone in particular. I took the money that people offered me, and I had no reason to suspect that things were going to come out like that.”

The race is nonpartisan, and both candidates are urging residents to do their research and go out to vote.

Ballots must be postmarked by June 7.

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