Sajid Khan, a Santa Clara County deputy public defender and criminal justice reform advocate, is running for county district attorney, he announced at a San Jose rally on Sunday. He is challenging Jeff Rosen, who has held the position since 2011.
Khan said in an announcement that he would run as a "true progressive" and would focus on rooting out systemic racism, shrinking mass criminalization and addressing the root causes of crime. He has been a public defender serving Santa Clara County for 13 years and has fought for people's constitutional rights and against systemic racism and mass incarceration, according to the announcement.
He was born in San Jose to Muslim immigrants from Madras, India. His mother worked as a laboratory scientist at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose and his late father was a physicist in the semiconductor industry who established a mosque and later a school, both in Santa Clara.
Retired Santa Clara County Judge LaDoris Cordell and the Real Justice PAC announced they are endorsing Khan at the San Jose rally. Real Justice PAC works to elect reform-minded prosecutors and focuses on ending discriminatory policing, eliminating money bail and rolling back practices leading to mass incarceration.
On Thursday, Rosen announced his reelection campaign, an effort that has collected more than $450,000 in donations in its first three months. Rosen has received endorsements from over 60 elected officials in the county, hundreds of community leaders, criminal justice reformers and law enforcement leadership, according to a press release.