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The three candidates for San Francisco district attorney came together Wednesday night looking for a debate on women’s issues, and barely found one. When it comes to a policy approach on crimes involving women — including domestic violence, exploitation and prostitution — incumbent Terence Hallinan, defense attorney Bill Fazio and Deputy City Attorney Kamala Harris agreed to agree. “This is another one of those only-in-San Francisco situations,” Fazio said. Sponsored by the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, the debate was moderated by KQED journalist Belva Davis. Many of the roughly 150 people in the audience at the Women’s Building in the Mission were wearing campaign buttons featuring their favorite DA candidate. Fazio seemed intent on shedding the conservative image that contributed to his two previous losses to Hallinan. The former deputy DA appeared well rehearsed and referred repeatedly to his early successes as a member of the district attorney’s sexual assault unit 20 years ago. He ended nearly every one of his comments with his campaign slogan, “Getting the job done right.” Unfazed by the drumbeat of attacks from the other candidates on his conviction rate, Hallinan was articulate when defending the competency of his office, but seemed to struggle to explain his position on other issues. He was defiant about his recent battle with the police department. “Granted I may have some tension with the present brass, but anybody who says I should have ignored what happened on Union Street is wrong.” The forum seemed tailor-made for Harris’ platform of providing a voice for battered women, abused children and neglected neighborhoods. While Hallinan seemed thrown by questions proposing a child sexual assault unit in the DA’s office and a domestic violence court, Harris said she strongly supported them. But Harris appeared to stumble on some of her answers, getting sidetracked by tangent issues. The Women’s Political Committee does not endorse male candidates, which appears to give Harris an edge. “It is the first time a woman has been in the race for DA,” said Women’s Political Committee President Debbie Mesloh. “We are excited to see her, and we would like to see more women in office.” She added, “But they all have a fair shot.” The endorsement will be announced Sept. 4. The committee called the debate to find out where the candidates stood on what Mesloh called the “feminist agenda.” The candidates were in lockstep in their answers to many of Davis’ questions: Death penalty, no. Medical marijuana, yes. Child exploitation, bad. Social services for batterers after serving time, yes. “You all replied that you want to educate, you want to be tough prosecutors, and you want to intervene to prevent [crime against women],” said Davis. “I don’t know who would want to disagree � but if there is a rebuttal, now is the time.”

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