by Shelby Talcott
Chesa Boudin, whose parents were convicted and jailed for their part in the murder of three people when he was a toddler, won the bid for San Francisco’s attorney general Saturday after campaigning on his past.
Boudin’s parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, were arrested after dropping their then-14-month-old son off at a babysitter’s and taking part in an armored car robbery in 1981. Two police officers and a security guard were left dead, and Boudin’s parents, members of the terrorist group Weather Underground, were arrested for their role as getaway drivers.
The now 39-year-old used his past to capture votes in San Francisco, according to NBC News. In his campaign video, he explained to voters how he had to visit jail and go through steel gates just to hug his parents. Boudin campaigned on a total reform of the criminal justice system, using his history to explain why mass incarceration is destructive.
“The people of San Francisco have sent a powerful and clear message: It’s time for radical change to how we envision justice,” Boudin said in a statement according to NBC News. “I’m humbled to be a part of this movement that is unwavering in its demand for transformation.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed Boudin and congratulated him on his victory, tweeting Saturday that it is time to “fundamentally transform our racist and broken criminal justice system.”
Now is the moment to fundamentally transform our racist and broken criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration, the failed war on drugs and the criminalization of poverty. Congratulations @chesaboudin on your historic victory! https://t.co/2CiM1sFo5c
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) November 10, 2019
Boudin was raised by Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, after his parents went to jail, NBC News reported. He studied law at Yale University and then worked as a translator for now-dead Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the man known for a failed socialist experiment that has left the country broken for decades.
The Weather Underground was responsible for a series of bombings and cited as a domestic terrorist group by the FBI. The group waned in the 1980s but still has “fugitives” that have been able to hide themselves from law enforcement for years, according to the FBI’s page on the group. Boudin remains close to his parents, NBC News reported.
His mother was released from jail in 2003 after serving 22 years and his father, 75, was sentenced to three life sentences. He will be eligible for parole in 2058, Times of Israel reported. Boudin narrowly beat out interim district attorney Suzy Loftus.