District Attorney Thien Ho



For its new district attorney, Sacramento County has a veteran of the office: Thien Ho, who began as a deputy district attorney in 2004 and built a reputation as a highly effective prosecutor, with more than 100 trials to his name.

Ho, who succeeds Anne Marie Schubert, prevailed over progressive challenger Alana Mathews in the June primary 57.3 percent to 42.7 percent

“The community has spoken,” Ho told the Sacramento Bee days after the election. “They want an experienced prosecutor, they want someone who’s going to put safety before politics.”

Ho and new Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper will each serve a six-year term. A county spokesperson said via email that the California Legislature recently passed AB 759, which shifts DA and sheriff elections back to presidential election years, making the next election for each office in 2028.


Ho came to the U.S. as a four-year-old Vietnamese refugee in 1976. Days before the election, he told the Bee’s editorial board about how his family was forced to flee his native country after the North Vietnamese government attempted to seize his grandfather’s land and executed his grandmother via extrajudicial firing squad.

Ho grew up in east San Jose, attending Silver Creek High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from University of California, Davis in 1995, before going on to earn a degree from McGeorge School of Law, according to his LinkedIn profile.

While a student at McGeorge, as Ho told the Bee’s editorial board, he discovered a skill “to talk to people, to be able to tell stories and to be able to really advocate for people. When I’ve stood up in the courtroom for the last 20 years of being a prosecutor, I say, ‘It’s Thien Ho on behalf of the people, for the people.’ Not some people, but for the people. The district attorney is the attorney for the people.”

Among his cases, Ho is noted for his successful prosecution of Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo.

Key issues

Ho positioned himself to the right of Mathews, who campaigned as a reformer, while the Bee described Ho as “a tough-on-crime prosecutor.” Key issues include:

  • Being willing to pursue the death penalty in certain cases. He ultimately let DeAngelo plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence to avoid having people connected to the case die before it could come to trial;

  • Unlike his predecessor, having a willingness to charge law enforcement officers with crimes. “To me, it doesn’t matter whether somebody wears blue jeans or blue uniform, whether they’re on probation or they’re a police officer, if you violate the law, you’re going to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Ho told the Bee.

District boundaries and office location

The Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office covers all of the county.

  • Office location: 901 G St, Sacramento, CA 95814

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