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Criminal Justice

DA Candidate John Hamasaki Hires Chesa Boudin’s Former Campaign Manager

Written by Joe Burn, Camille CohenPublished Aug. 12, 2022 • 2:33pm
Outspoken former San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki, right, officially announced his run for District Attorney on Friday, August 12, 2022 at San Francisco City Hall, revealing Chesa’s Boudin’s former campaign manager, Kaylah Williams May, left, as the person running his bid for the office. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

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Outspoken former SF Police Commissioner John Hamasaki officially announced his run for District Attorney Friday and revealed that Chesa Boudin’s former campaign manager is running his bid for the office. 

The criminal defense attorney, best known for his vocal criticisms of the police as a member of the civilian Police Commission, pulled papers with the Department of Elections Thursday, signaling his intent to jump into the November contest against District Attorney Brooke Jenkins, who was appointed by Mayor London Breed.

Boudin’s former campaign manager, Kaylah Williams May, was present at the event and has since confirmed to The Standard via text message that she is running Hamasaki’s campaign. 

Hamasaki has been endorsed by District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston along with several other former supervisors, including Norman Yee.

Outspoken former San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki officially announced his run for District Attorney on Friday, August 12, 2022 at San Francisco City Hall Department of Elections, surrounded by press and supporters. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

During a short press conference at City Hall’s Department of Elections, the fiery ex-commissioner said his priorities included restoring trust to the office, fighting crime at all levels, rooting out local government corruption and protecting vulnerable and Asian victims of crime. 

Outspoken former San Francisco Police Commissioner John Hamasaki details why he’s running for District Attorney on Friday, August 12, 2022. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

The ex-commissioner also took the opportunity to air his critique of Jenkins. “The mayor had a chance to appoint a responsible, ethical, serious prosecutor and made a decision to go the exact opposite route,” Hamasaki said. “And it’s been a crisis in the city ever since.”

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Hamasaki and Jenkins aren’t the only two candidates in the running.

Joe Alioto Veronese—another former police commissioner whose lineage in local politics dates back to his grandfather, former Mayor Joe Alioto—intends to run, while attorney Maurice Chenier has also filed papers.

Boudin, who opted out of challenging Jenkins in November but could run again in the future, has not yet endorsed a candidate. He previously told The Standard that Hamasaki has not asked for his endorsement but that he would consider offering his support if asked.

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Joe Burn can be reached at [email protected]
Camille Cohen can be reached at [email protected]




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