Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, 60, officially announced Thursday that he will run for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, ending months of speculation following the retirement of three-term incumbent Steve Cooley.
"I love my job as city attorney," Trutanich said in a statement, "but I can't do my job... without a crime fighting partner in the DA's office."
Trutanich, who was elected city attorney in 2009, is considered the heavy favorite against five other prosecutors from the district attorney's office who also are looking to replace Cooley: Bobby Grace, Jacquelyn Lacey, Danette Meyers, Mario Trujillo and Deputy DA Alan Jackson.
Jackson, who is considered Trutanich's toughest opponent, has been highly critical of him, saying Trutanich signed a pledge four years ago promising to seek re-election of a second and final term.
"He's been running for over a year," said Jackson campaign's chief strategist John Thomas. "He's been turning his attention away from what the city of LA elected him to do."
The pledge to serve, reportedly signed by Trutanich while running for city attorney in 2008, states that he would pay $100,000 to a Los Angeles afterschool program if he did not seek re-election. It added that he would personally finance a full-page advertisement in newspapers with the words "I am a liar" printed on it.
However, since Trutanich's announcement Thursday, Jackson's camp claims to have taken out the advertisement for Trutanich.
"Don’t worry, we won’t charge Trutanich for the design and placement of the ad. It’s on the house," Thomas said in a statement.
The Trutanich camp released a statement from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in response about the pledge.
"All this to me is merely a diversion from the real fact," said Baca, who supports Trutanich for district attorney.
Trutanich's announcement comes just days after he was caught for allegedly claiming false endorsements, although he was not an official candidate at the time.