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Tuesday November 5, 2019 — Local Elections
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City of San FranciscoCandidate for District Attorney

Photo of Leif Dautch

Leif Dautch

Deputy Attorney General
26,754 votes (13.9%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Transform San Francisco's Juvenile Hall into a Mental Health Justice Center for those battling mental illness on our streets.
  • Launch an Auto Burglary Task Force focused on the organized rings responsible for 70% of the car beak-ins.
  • Hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct.



Leif Dautch is a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California and the Past President of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Commission. The son of an organic farmer and a registered nurse, Leif grew up along California’s Central Coast. When Leif was a kid, his mom worked night shifts as a nurse at the local juvenile hall. His family became foster parents, and they took in a dozen kids over the course of a decade, adopting two. Leif saw firsthand the effects of trauma, race, and poverty, but he also saw amazing people like his mom working within the justice system to ensure that a one-time mistake did not turn into a life of crime.

It was that childhood exposure to the justice system that set Leif on a path from a small organic farm in rural California to graduating with honors from Yale and Harvard Law School, to externing for San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, clerking on the Ninth Circuit, serving as President of the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Commission, and working as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of California. Over the past seven years, Leif has prosecuted more than 400 criminal cases, from trials to arguing in the California Supreme Court. Leif has also served as a policy advisor, drafting legislation and testifying before the California State Assembly and State Senate on issues ranging from human trafficking to environmental protection. As an Assistant Team Leader, he helps supervise a team of attorneys and has served on the Criminal Division’s Hiring Committee and Technology Task Force.

In addition to being elected President by his peers on the San Francisco Juvenile Probation Commission, Leif is the Vice Chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Executive Committee on Criminal Law. He started an environmental advocacy group to block fracking projects on public land, and authored and passed the California Democratic Party’s platform plank against fracking in national forests. He has also provided pro bono eviction defense and represented indigent inmates in prison disciplinary matters. Leif and his wife, Brittany, frequently volunteer at Glide Memorial Church and the Raphael House homeless shelter. Leif was recognized on Forbes’ list of rising lawyers and policymakers and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Washington Post on topics including car break-ins, environmental justice, and income inequality.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Leif's commitment to justice and accountability has earned him the support of a broad coalition of 150+ endorsers, including:

  • San Francisco Firefighters Local 798
  • California Treasurer Fiona Ma
  • Latino Democratic Club (#2)
  • San Francisco Deputy Sheriffs’ Association
  • School Board Vice President Mark Sanchez
  • School Board Commissioner Gabriela López
  • San Francisco League of Conservation Voters (#2)
  • Chinese American Democratic Club (#2)
  • Former San Francisco Public Defender Geoffrey Brown

Full endorsement list available at

Candidate Contact Info

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