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June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
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San Diego CountyCandidate for District Attorney

Photo of Summer Stephan

Summer Stephan

San Diego County District Attorney, Appointed
383,807 votes (57%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protecting Children and Seniors: Summer prosecuted over 100 jury trials including the Kelly Elementary School shooter and a rapist who murdered an elderly woman. She created a plan to safeguard schools and wrote laws holding predators accountable.
  • Fighting Human Trafficking: Named “Modern Day Abolitionist,” Summer pioneered the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division Special Victims Unit and leveraged forensic science to ensure that every rape kit is tested.
  • Implement “smart on crime” alternatives to jail for non-violent offenders is another priority for DA Stephan. Her office has been a leader in effective reentry and reforms that address the underlying causes of crime and recidivism like mental health



Profession:District Attorney of San Diego County
District Attorney, San Diego County( previously: Chief Deputy and Deputy DA, County of San Diego (1990–current)
District Attorney, County of San Diego — Appointed position (2017–current)
Commissioner, Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention — Appointed position (2017–current)
Member, CA Governor’s Task Force on High Risk Sex Offenders and Sexually Violent Predators — Appointed position (2005–2007)


University of California at Davis Bachelor of Arts, Psychology (not availa)
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Juris Doctor (not availa)
Harvard Kennedy School Certificate, Driving Government Performance (not availa)


Summer Stephan is the District Attorney of San Diego County. She has devoted 28 years to public safety and victims’ rights. A national leader in the fight against human trafficking, Summer was named the 2017 Southern California District Attorney of the Year by Crime Victims United. Her leadership, innovation and collaboration helped reduce crime to its lowest levels in 49 years, making San Diego the safest urban county in America.

Summer Stephan’s experience, track record and vision for San Diego County lead to broad based and bi-partisan endorsements including Deputy District Attorneys Association, San Diego Police Officers Association, Deputy Sheriffs Association, Latino Peace Officers Association, Crime Victims United, Crime Victims Action Alliance, Mexican American Business Professionals Association, Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Attorney Mara Elliott, Congressman Juan Vargas and Senator Pat Bates, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego to name a few. For a more complete list, visit

District Attorney Summer Stephan has devoted her life to protecting children and families and providing justice to the voiceless and most vulnerable. During her 28 years at the DA’s office, she combined extensive courtroom experience with over 15 years of management and leadership experience. She rose through the ranks to appointments as Chief of the DA’s North County Branch and Chief of the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division, a Special Victims Unit she pioneered. In 2012, she was appointed Chief Deputy District Attorney. In 2017, she was sworn in as District Attorney.

District Attorney Stephan leads the second largest DA’s Office in California, managing a professional staff of over 1,000 employees, serving as the People’s Prosecutor for all of San Diego County and its over three million residents, which are spread throughout cities and communities from the U.S.-Mexico border to the Riverside County line. The DA uses her nearly three decades of experience to set public safety priorities and to leverage, partner and collaborate with law enforcement and the community, to maintain San Diego County as one of the safest urban regions in the United States.

As a trial prosecutor, Summer tried more than 100 jury trials, including cases of complex homicides, sexually violent predators, child molestation, sexual assault, school shooting, and human trafficking-related cases.

She holds leadership positions in public safety on the national state and local level, including being selected as one of only two prosecutors in California to serve on Governor Schwarzenegger’s Task Force for High-Risk Sex Offenders and Sexually-Violent Predators. Among her many leadership positions in the fight against human trafficking, Summer chaired the San Diego County Human Trafficking Advisory Council. She spearheaded the innovative “Know the Price” campaign, which focused on reducing sexual assaults of college students. She also led the award-winning “The Ugly Truth” Human Trafficking Campaign. 

She is a leader in advancing public safety through a smart, fair and equal criminal justice. She brings solutions to complex issues through her unique data-driven, and common sense approach that goes beyond a one-size-fits-all mentality. Instead, she leverages innovations in crime prevention and restorative justice practices and believes in investing in and building healthy lives and communities instead of destructive and costly prison pipelines. For example, Summer was part of the leadership team that diverted more youthful offenders into positive programs while lowering recidivism and harm to communities, dramatically lowering the incarceration rate for juvenile offenders by 48 percent. In addition, she helped implement and expand smart on crime programs that address the underlying causes of criminality for non-violent offenders such as mental health, substance abuse and addiction. In addition, she began the first Veterans Treatment Court in North County with Deputy DA George Loyd, a heroic Marine Corps veteran.

Summer is the recipient of numerous local, state and federal awards, including an FBI commendation for organized crime prosecution, the outstanding achievement award for the complex prosecution involving the sexual assault and murder of an elderly woman. She was named “Angel of Anti-Human Trafficking” and “Modern Day Abolitionist. She received the prestigious 2016 “Voices for Justice” award by the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice. She received the Lifetime Legacy Award by Women of Influence and the Community Impact award by North County Lifeline.  

DA Stephan is an instructor and trainer for the National District Attorneys Association Executive Management Course: “How to go from Boss to Leader.” She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Davis and her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. She completed the “Driving Government Performance” Executive Education Course at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • San Diego Police Officers Association
  • Deputy Sheriffs Association
  • Deputy District Attorneys Association

Organizations (2)

  • Crime Victims Action Alliance
  • Crime Victims United

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