Fresno District Attorney Race Heats Up - Watch Full Debate
By Monty Torres
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — The District Attorney's race between incumbent Elizabeth Egan and challenger Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp is arguably the most hotly contested political fight of the year in Fresno County.The two candidates squared off for a live debate at the KMPH Fox 26 News studios Tuesday night.The two experienced lawyers clashed over the death penalty, victims' rights, and differing opinions of controversial cases and campaign ads.They also butted heads on the issue of work ethic. "She [Smittcamp] started in civil law, moved on to Madera DA came to Fresno county. Took leave and then she quit," said Egan.Smittcamp said, "Mrs. Egan has been an absentee boss."But despite the fireworks, there were no knockout blows in the debate.Both gave as good as they got and in the end found themselves not opposed but in agreement on what the job they both want is really about.Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp said, "A good and true prosecutor doesn't ever worry about their conviction rate. They worry about the victims and they worry about the evidence and they worry about doing justice."And Elizabeth Egan agreed. "That's absolutely correct. We worry about injustice and if we feel we can prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt we're going to take that case," said Egan.They both closed with an appeal to voters to decide which of them has made the better case.Elizabeth Egan said, "Before my opponents negative campaign ads began months ago I want you to ask yourself as voters. 'Did you hear one negative thing about the DA's office? Did you hear anyone place blame on the DA's office for the early release of prisoners?'"Lisa Sondergaard Smittcamp said, "Watch this debate. See who you think is telling the truth. Find out who is the prosecutor and who is the politician. I think it's abundantly clear."The statewide primary election is Tuesday, June 3rd. Polls open at 7:00 a.m.Please remember to make your vote count.You can watch the full debate using the video player on this page.
KMPH Fox 26 is the Central Valley's news leader, covering Fresno, California and the surrounding area, including Clovis, Madera, Hanford, Visalia, Biola, Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Reedley, Coalinga, Avenal, Lemoore, Tulare, Selma, Caruthers, Tollhouse, Three Rivers, Porterville, and Merced.