Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Thursday that she will not seek reelection this year.
"After 32 years in this office, I've decided to not seek a fourth term as Santa Barbara County District Attorney," she said during a press conference outside the Santa Barbara County Courthouse.
Dudley was elected District Attorney in 2010. For 20 years prior, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney specializing in the prosecution of violent crimes.
"We want to stop crime, we want to prevent it, we want to intervene but we also want to make sure people are held accountable and I'm gonna miss that," Dudley said. "I'm going to miss that passion and that black and white decision."
According to her bio on the county's website, during her time as DA, Dudley helped create an arson task force, improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the DA's Office, helped secure funding for the expansion of the Vulnerable Victims Unit, oversaw the addition of a full-time canine companion, initiated a volunteer attorney program, helped reestablish a truancy program in the county, and helped create the Santa Barbara County Misdemeanor Diversion Program.
Dudley says she is retiring because she wants to spend time with friends and family, continue exercising, and teach and volunteer.
"This has been my dream job because of the people I've worked with, my friends and family who've supported me and this county - this incredible, incredible county that I have had the honor to serve," she said.
Dudley's last day in office will be Jan. 3, 2023.
She is endorsing John Savrnoch to succeed her as District Attorney. Savrnoch is the current Assistant District Attorney. So far, he is the only candidate to file nomination papers in that race for the upcoming election.