Nathan Hochman is Ready to Be the Next LA County District Attorney

Former federal prosecutor Nathan Hochman finished first among the 11 challengers vying to unseat Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in the March 5 primary. Now, he is laser-focused on defeating Gascón in November. 

Hochman, a Beverly Hills native and alumnus of Beverly Hills High School, told the Courier he’s running to “end the golden age of criminals in LA County” and restore faith in the District Attorney’s office.

He says that the reform policies of Gascón—including the elimination of cash bail, of most sentencing enhancements and of trying juveniles as adults —have failed victims, failed law enforcement and failed Angelenos in general.

“My goal is to deter criminals from committing crimes in the first place, because they know that the consequences will be fairly and consistently enforced,” he said. “Gascón has upended that goal of deterrence, and we can see criminals are paying attention, whether it’s hate crimes escalating, whether it’s shoplifting going through the roof or smash and grabs spiking.”

Hochman has vowed to rescind all of Gascon’s “pro-criminal, blanket policies that have decarceration as their primary goal” on his first day in office. 

Thus far, he has received endorsements from the union representing deputy district attorneys, former LA County DA’s Jackie Lacey and Steve Cooley, the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association and over 50 elected officials. This includes current and former Beverly Hills elected officials Lester Friedman, Lili Bosse, Sharona Nazarian, Julian Gold, M.D., John Mirisch, Craig Corman and Mary Wells. 

He has also received the endorsement of the Beverly Hills Police Officers’ Association and recently spent time meeting with Police Chief Mark Stainbrook and touring the BHPD’s Real Time Watch Center. 

“I came away extremely impressed with what Beverly Hills Police Department has come up with,” he said. “My only hope is that the system (Real Time Watch Center) can get exported to the other 87 cities in the county.”

Hochman spoke with officers about the BHPD’s efforts to address rising rates of retail crime and antisemitism, which are two major issues he would seek to crack down on if elected. 

“I’ve been involved with the ADL, the American Jewish Committee and the American Jewish University,” said Hochman, whose father was a former president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. 

“I have a personal connection to protecting people from being victimized based on their Jewish faith,” he added. 

Hochman traces his political roots back to his days in the Beverly Hills Unified School District, where he was elected 8th-grade president and later student body president at BHHS. 

“I can’t say I ran for election again for the next 40 years, but I certainly started out strong in politics,” he said. “I loved growing up in Beverly Hills, which at the time had one of the best education systems, not just in California, but in the nation.”

He was also a member of the BHHS Debate Team and a varsity tennis player. His mother still lives in Beverly Hills to this day, while Hochman and his wife Vivienne raised their three children nearby in Los Angeles. 

After graduating from Beverly Hills High School, Hochman went on to attend Brown University and Stanford Law School. He started his career clerking for United States District Judge Stephen V. Wilson in Los Angeles and then became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.

He later served as United States Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division of the United States Department of Justice, before transitioning into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. 

“I’ll bring a unique perspective to the job that no other district attorney has ever had,” he said, “because they’ve never had that combination of experiences as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney.” 

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