Nine candidates seeking to unseat L.A. County District Attorney George Gascón in the March 2024 primary election will take the stage Wednesday night in a debate sponsored by the region’s biggest police unions.

A spokesperson for Gascón said he would not attend because of a previously scheduled event at the same time with a Democratic club.

Law enforcement unions, including the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs and Los Angeles Police Protective League, have been among the DA’s sharpest critics. They argue he is too lenient with people who commit crimes. Police unions are a powerful political force, capable of spending big dollars for and against candidates.

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