Daron Morris, a longtime public defender who was challenging King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg for his seat in the November general election, has suspended his campaign effective immediately due to medical reasons.
In a statement posted on social media, Morris said that while he expects to “make a full recovery,” his present circumstances “prevent” him from continuing his campaign.
Morris—who announced his candidacy back in May and became Satterberg’s first challenger in 11 years—ran a social justice-minded campaign centered on eliminating racial disparities in the criminal justice system and further reducing incarceration. While Satterberg, a former Republican, has built a reputation as a progressive prosecutor through his support of initiatives like Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (an innovative program that sends low-level drug offenders to case managers instead of jails), Morris argued that he wasn’t moving fast enough on other core criminal just reform issues like bail. His policy platform included setting prosecutors’ bail requests in accordance with defendants’ ability to pay, opposing the controversial new youth detention center in central Seattle, diversifying juries, and establishing a “Post-Conviction Unit” to review credible claims of innocence by defendants.
“My deepest thanks to everyone who stepped up to support this campaign, I am humbled by the passion I saw in people who were willing to sacrifice so much for reform. I truly believe we had a chance to win, and I am sorry that we are not able to continue on our path,” Morris wrote in his statement.
During the course of Morris’ bid for prosecutor, Satterberg announced that he officially considers himself a Democrat and that his office would no longer file cases involving charges of drug possession of under three grams.
Here’s his statement in full:
“I regret to announce that I am suspending my campaign effective immediately due to medical reasons. While I expect to make a full recovery, the present circumstances prevent me from continuing my campaign. Beyond that information, I ask for privacy for myself and my family.
My deepest thanks to everyone who stepped up to support this campaign, I am humbled by the passion I saw in people who were willing to sacrifice so much for reform. I truly believe we had a chance to win, and I am sorry that we are not able to continue on our path. I’d particularly like to thank my campaign staff for their dedication, creativity, professionalism and solidarity. Though I am saddened we cannot continue our journey together, I am proud of what this campaign stood for and what it accomplished. We enhanced the public conversation about the inequities that pervade our justice system. We laid out specific policies for local reform. We heightened awareness about the central role our Prosecutor’s Office must play in effectuating change. I hope that the work we have done these last few months, even though left interrupted, will provide some additional voice to individuals and communities who are struggling and striving for justice and fairness.”