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Tony Rackauckas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tony Rackauckas
Orange County District Attorney
In office
January 4, 1999 – January 7, 2019
Preceded byMichael Capizzi
Succeeded byTodd Spitzer
Personal details
Anthony Joseph Rackauckas Jr.

(1943-03-18) March 18, 1943 (age 76)
Long Beach, California
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceNewport Beach, California
Alma materCalifornia State University, Long Beach
Loyola Law School

Anthony Joseph Rackauckas Jr. (born March 18, 1943) is a former District Attorney of Orange County, California and a former Superior Court judge.

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Early life

He was born in the family of Mexican-American Maria Socorro Limón and Anthony Joseph Rackauckas, whose family had arrived from Lithuania. Rackauckas served in the United States Army as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division from 1962 to 1964. After completing his service in the army, he attended California State University, Long Beach from 1964–1968 while simultaneously serving in the United States Army Reserve.[1]

After earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from CSULB in 1968, Rackauckas attended Loyola Law School while simultaneously serving as a social worker in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services. He graduated from Loyola in 1971, earning his Juris Doctor degree.[1]


In 1972, Rackauckas left the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services to become a Deputy District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney's Office, where he served until leaving in 1988 to enter private practice. While in private practice, Rackauckas authored Proposition 115, which appeared on the June 1990 ballot.

Rackauckas left private practice in 1990 when he was appointed by California Governor George Deukmejian to be a municipal court judge. Rackauckas served as a municipal court judge until March 1993, when Governor Pete Wilson appointed him a Superior Court judge, a post in which he served until becoming District Attorney[2] of Orange County.

Rackauckas won the support of 59% of Orange County voters in the June 1998 election[3] for District Attorney against Deputy District Attorney Wally Wade and took office in January 1999. He won the support of 62% of the voters in a March 2002 rematch with Wade.[4] He was unopposed in his June 2006[5] and 2010[6] bids for a third and fourth consecutive term, winning 100% of the vote in each year.

In February 2014, Rackauckas filed documents required to seek a fifth term in office. He raised $419,000 during a fundraiser at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach for his re-election campaign.[7] He won re-election in 2014 with support from 73.3% of the voters.[8] Rackauckas has indicated that he intends to run for re-election in 2018.[9]

Rackauckas has been criticized by Public Defender Scott Sanders for his office's purported mishandling of jailhouse informants which has created difficulties in convicting and sentencing defendants due to the violations of defendants' constitutional rights. This resulted in the "taking off the table" of the death penalty for Scott Dekraai, who had pleaded guilty to murdering eight people and wounding another in a Seal Beach massacre.[10][11][12][13][14] Dekraai was sentenced on September 22, 2017 by Goethals to eight terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole, one term for each of his victims and to seven years to life for attempted murder.[15][16]

Rackauckas is running for a sixth term in 2018.[17]

On November 6, 2018, Rackauckas was defeated by Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer in a runoff.

Electoral history

Orange County, California District Attorney

Orange County, California District Attorney election, 2002[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Rackauckas (inc.) 275,410 61.8
Nonpartisan Wallace Wade 170,402 38.2
Majority 105,008 23.6
Total votes 445,812 100.0
Orange County, California District Attorney election, 2006[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Rackauckas (inc.) 296,830 100.0
Majority 296,830 100.0
Total votes 296,830 100.0
Orange County, California District Attorney election, 2010[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Rackauckas (inc.) 336,328 100.0
Majority 336,328 100.0
Total votes 336,328 100.0
Orange County, California District Attorney election, 2014[18]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Rackauckas (inc.) 212,716 73.3
Nonpartisan Greg Diamond 77,473 26.7
Majority 135,243 46.6
Total votes 290,189 100.0
Orange County, California District Attorney election, 2018[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Tony Rackauckas (inc.) 209,148 38.5
Nonpartisan Todd Spitzer 191,346 35.2
Nonpartisan Brett Murdock 121,818 22.4
Nonpartisan Lenore Albert-Sheridan 20,890 3.8
Total votes 543,202 100.0
Orange County, California District Attorney election runoff, 2018[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Nonpartisan Todd Spitzer 484,830 53.2
Nonpartisan Tony Rackauckas (inc.) 425,764 46.8
Majority 59,066 6.5
Total votes 910,594 100.0


  1. ^ a b "Orange County DA - District Attorney Tony Rackauckas". Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  2. ^ "State Bar of CA: Anthony Joseph Rackauckas Jr". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  3. ^ Undecideds Key in Tight Race for D.A., Los Angeles Times, February 25, 2002, "Wade, who received 41% of the vote in a 1998 loss to Rackauckas..."
  4. ^ "Orange County Primary Election". March 5, 2002. Archived from the original on August 23, 2004. Retrieved 2017-07-09.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Primary Election". Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  6. ^ "Statewide Direct Primary Election". Archived from the original on 2010-06-11. Retrieved 2017-07-09.
  7. ^ "D.A. Tony Rackauckas Files to Run Again". 2014-02-28. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  8. ^ "How O.C. voted: Election results from the county Registrar of Voters". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  9. ^ "Orange County District Attorney". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  10. ^ "'Failure of leadership' at the Orange County D.A.'s office led to informant issues, report says". Los Angeles Times. 2016-01-04. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  11. ^ "After scathing report by panel he selected, O.C. D.A. Tony Rackauckas says he's staying put". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  12. ^ "Inside the Snitch Tank". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  13. ^ "OC Snitch Scandal". OC Weekly. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  14. ^ "Deputies take the Fifth, complicating yet another jail snitch case". Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  15. ^ "Scott Dekraai, Orange County's worst mass killer, gets life without parole for eight Seal Beach murders". 23 September 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Judge rules out death penalty for Scott Dekraai in Seal Beach mass murder case". 18 August 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  17. ^ Despite scandals and doubts, Orange County district attorney wants another term, and a shot at vindication
  18. ^ a b c d Orange County Statewide Direct Primary Election
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ [2]

External links

This page was last edited on 29 September 2019, at 23:01
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