In a stunning outcome determined only after the counting of late ballots Friday, veteran prosecutor Jeff Rosen (pictured) has succeeded in unseating his boss, District Attorney Dolores Carr — the first time in at least eight decades that a challenger has wrested the office from an incumbent. But Carr will continue to lead the office until early next year, raising the question of how she will deal with a largely mutinous staff of prosecutors in the next seven months, given that most supported Rosen.
The historic upset came after Rosen, 42, spent months relentlessly attacking Carr's ethics and judgment while offering himself as a reform-minded and ethical alternative. Carr, 56, tried to keep the focus on Rosen's lack of management experience, but voters apparently took more stock in Rosen's vow to be "a DA for the people" who would restore public trust in an office plagued by Carr's controversial missteps and questionable decision-making. "People really value high ethics and integrity in a DA," Rosen said. "The experience that really mattered was my experience as a tough, fair prosecutor."
Carr conceded Friday afternoon, about 90 minutes after elections officials released updated election returns. With 444,220 votes counted, Rosen won 224,399, or 50.5 percent; Carr had 49.4 percent. There are still an estimated 7,600 ballots left to count in the race, but Rosen is leading by 2,854 votes, a gap even Carr recognized she was unlikely to overcome.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Breaking News from the San Jose Mercury News: