Anne Marie Schubert talks about end of DA race on election night
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert is no longer a Republican.
Schubert said Friday that she formally changed her political affiliation to "no party preference" on Tuesday, a week after winning re-election.
Schubert said she made the decision months ago but decided to wait until after her contentious primary battle with Democrat Noah Phillips, whom Schubert defeated soundly to win a second term.
"I didn't announce this during the campaign because I didn't want it to be perceived as political," Schubert said. "I didn't want it to become a focal point of the campaign."
Phillips and his supporters had painted Schubert as a conservative Republican in attack ads, including one mailer that included separate pictures of her and President Donald Trump. She also was criticized for being endorsed by Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, a strong Republican supporter of Trump.
On Thursday, three local Democrats who endorsed Schubert — Sacramento City Council members Steve Hansen and Eric Guerra and Sacramento City Unified School Board Member, Darrel Woo — were expelled from the central committee of the Democratic Party of Sacramento County for endorsing Schubert.
Schubert said she felt badly for Hansen, Guerra and Woo. She also said she wanted to separate her duties as district attorney from partisan politics.
"It's supposed to be a nonpartisan position," Schubert said. "Anyone who knows me knows that I'm Democratic about some issues and conservative on others."
Schubert is the highest-ranking elected official in the county who is openly gay. But because of her previous GOP affiliations and support of the death penalty, Schubert has been the target of progressive groups.
Most local elected Democrats, including Mayor Darrell Steinberg, endorsed Schubert because they felt her strengths as a DA outweighed her close ties to law enforcement.
She has been criticized for not charging cops who used deadly force on the job. After Stephon Clark, an unarmed African American man, was killed by police in March, her office attracted regular Black Lives Matter protests calling on her to prosecute the officers involved.
Schubert has said she must wait for the police investigation to finish before reaching a decision on the Clark case. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra will provide independent oversight of the investigation.