The candidacy of Jim Leitner was an interesting story in the days leading up to the filing deadline.
Remember back two weeks ago and we were all young and naive, thinking Rosenthal was only guilty of sending romantic e-mails to his secretary? Boy, how things change. After the Republicans had officially asked Chuck to resign, and he had officially told them to kiss his butt, there was apparently quite a bit of wide-spread panic with the D.A.'s Office. Assistant District Attorneys seemed to quickly grasp what their boss did not, and that was that Chuck Rosenthal wasn't going to be the elected D.A. come January 1, 2009.
What the ADA's also realized was that nobody from their Office would dare to announce a candidacy as long as Chuck was steadfastly refusing to withdraw his name from the ballot. Their position was unenviable, because none of them were too comfortable with the idea of working for Clarence Bradford. And the person whose name came to all of their minds was Jim Leitner's. Any prosecutor who had been around the Office for over five years knew Jim and respected him. Now, they were looking for Jim to save them and their office.
I don't know how many ADAs called or contacted Jim in some way, but somehow he ended up heeding the call, and put his name into contention. Defense attorneys and prosecutors alike cheered!
Five minutes later, Rosenthal withdrew from the race, thus opening the door for Kelly Siegler to run. Now, the ADAs were internally conflicted. They knew that Jim had stood up for them in a time of need (when nobody else could), but Kelly Siegler is demi-God to the prosecutors. The prosecutors are always going to back somebody from inside the Office when given the choice, but Jim Leitner has earned a special place in their heart. Most of the prosecutors that I've talked to support Kelly wholeheartedly, but will also tell you that they would gladly work under a Leitner Administration as well.
The fly in the ointment came two days later when political opportunist and the Republican "It" Girl, Pat Lykos decided that she needed to run for something. Folks, make no mistake about it, Jared Woodfil and the local leadership of the Republican Party want Pat Lykos to win. To them, Jim is a "no name", and Kelly is too tainted by her boss' administration to be a real contender. I think prosecutors and defense attorneys alike all dread the term "District Attorney Pat Lykos".
So, what's my point? Jim and Kelly are both good candidates, and we all know that. Kelly has an edge with name recognition through her high profile trials lately. I would humbly suggest that we all, individually, pick one of them or the other and support them wholeheartedly. In other words, whether you support Jim or Kelly, get the word out that whoever ends up the candidate, it shouldn't be Lykos.