Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has cut ties with a political fundraiser who also helped organize a Los Angeles fundraiser for President Donald Trump's re-election campaign.
Lacey said her campaign would no longer work with Trey Kozacik of the Pluvious Group, whose name appeared on a flier promoting a $1,500-per-person event Thursday night in downtown Los Angeles in support of Lacey's reelection bid, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Kozacik was also listed as a point of contact on an invitation to an April fundraiser in Los Angeles for Trump's re-election campaign, according to the newspaper.
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"I am the first Democrat in nearly 20 years to hold this office, and the only major candidate in this race who is a lifelong Democrat," Lacey said on Saturday. "Mr. Kozacik has not been paid by our campaign, and our chief fundraising consultant is Stephanie Daily Smith, a leading Democratic fundraiser who has spearheaded fundraising efforts for Hillary Clinton for President, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Democratic National Committee."
"Mr. Kozacik helped us put together a fundraising event hosted by one of his former clients, Alan Jackson. We were unaware of these facts surrounding Mr. Kozacik's relationship with the Trump campaign, and now that we have been made aware of this, going forward Mr. Kozacik, will not be involved in any other fundraising activities for my campaign."
The story is likely to be used against Lacey by her three opponents for the March 2020 primary election, who are all presenting themselves as more progressive options to Democratic voters. One of them wasted no time in noting the news.
"While DA Lacey has been drinking from the same faucet as Donald Trump, she's been pleading with democratic party delegates for their support," said a statement from the campaign of George Gascon, a former assistant chief with the Los Angeles Police Department who went on to serve as San Francisco's police chief and, later, as its district attorney. "You are who you surround yourself with, and between her record of opposing every major criminal justice reform initiative in the past decade, and her association with right wing groups involved in criminal activity, it is clearer than ever that she is LA's conservative and regressive candidate for DA. Buyer beware."
Also challenging Lacey in the March 2020 primary election are veteran Deputy District Attorney Richard Ceballos, who is assigned to the office's Organized Crime Division and Hate Crimes Unit, and Rachel Rossi, who has worked in the Federal Public Defender's Office in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office and the county's Alternate Public Defender office.