Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch triumphed Tuesday in a recall election seeking her ouster, as an overwhelming majority of voters rejected the campaign bankrolled by a wealthy local developer who Ravitch’s office sued over the abandonment of elderly residents in a pair of Santa Rosa care homes in the 2017 Tubbs fire.
Ravitch hailed the end of a bruising and deeply personal effort to end her 11-year tenure as the county’s top prosecutor. The recall campaign, exclusively funded by Bill Gallaher to the tune of at least $1.7 million, criticized Ravitch’s record and singled out her supporters and relatives in a barrage of attack ads that flooded the airwaves, social media and mailboxes in recent months.
“When Bill Gallaher looks at himself in the mirror, I hope he is embarrassed with what he sees,” Ravitch said after the first, decisive, results arrived at her campaign watch party in Santa Rosa.
“This was one angry man who was held accountable — and he had a tantrum,” she said. “Fortunately, Sonoma County saw through it and I am so honored, so absolutely honored, that the people in this community said ‘We don’t buy it.’”
It was the most expensive campaign of its kind in Sonoma County history and an exceptionally rare recall — the first targeting a county elected official in four decades.