Deputy prosecutor to challenge District Attorney

  • Attorney Victoria Shanahan, center, receives an applause while announcing her candidacy for District Attorney on Wednesday, August 28, 2013. (Conner Jay/The Press Democrat)

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office is once again a hotbed of political dissent.

Deputy prosecutor Victoria Shanahan announced Wednesday night she will challenge her boss, District Attorney Jill Ravitch, in the June election.

The move was reminiscent of Ravitch's own path to elected office that began about eight years ago. She ran unsuccessfully against then-District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua in 2006 before defeating him in 2010.

Now comes Shanahan, an ex-Mendocino County chief deputy prosecutor hired by Passalacqua in 2007, who will face similar long odds in unseating the one-term incumbent. Ravitch has won endorsements from the five-member Board of Supervisors and Sheriff Steve Freitas and is amassing funds in a campaign war chest.

But Shanahan told a gathering of supporters, including senior prosecutors, sheriff's detectives and criminal attorneys, that she felt compelled to give it a shot.

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