Published on June 8, 2018 on MorganHillLife.com
By Staff Reports
In the final outcome of the highly-watched June 5 election for Santa Clara County Sheriff, incumbent Laurie Smith and retired undersheriff John Hirokawa will square off Nov. 6.
Neither of the two frontrunners in the five-person battle for sheriff garnered more than 50 percent of the vote. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Smith, vying for her sixth term, had 43.95 percent (82,541 votes) to Hirokawa’s 31.14 percent (58.493 votes).
“While ballots are still being counted, our campaign is only 12.81 percent from a first-place finish,” Hirokawa said. “We couldn’t have made it without the help of countless supporters. Together, we sent a clear message with 56 percent of the vote that Laurie Smith has neither the public trust nor confidence to continue as Sheriff.”
Hirokawa’s goal if electedin November is to build a collaborative relationship between the Santa Clara County Sheriff Department with the public, he said.
Smith did not respond to Morgan Hill Life’s requests for comments on the race.
Rounding out the rest of the field in the sheriff’s race were Joe La Jeunesse at 11.83 percent (22,221 votes), Jose Salcido 8.69 percent (16,327 votes) and Martin J. Monica 4.39 percent (8,240 votes).
In another closely watched race, first-time Republican candidate Neil Kitchens will face San Benito County Supervisor Robert Rivas for the sprawling 30th State Assembly District. With the democratic vote spread among four candidates and with all precincts reporting, Kitchens had 37.27 percent (4,162 votes) compared to Rivas’ 32.92 percent (3,676 votes). They will square off in November. Rounding out the race were democrat Gilroy City Councilman Peter Leroe-Munoz with 17.46 percent (1,950 votes), democrat Trina Coffman-Gomez 9.33 percent (1,042 votes) and democrat Bill Lipe 3.02 percent (227 votes).
District 30 includes San Benito County and parts of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, including the cities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Hollister, with about 500,000 residents. It is currently represented by Anna Caballero, who is running for state senate in the 12th District.
Leroe-Muñoz, is a former San Benito County deputy district attorney who works for Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He ran on a public safety and economic development platform.
Two-term Supervisor Rivas was a leader in the successful anti-fracking measure in San Benito County who ran a campaign emphasizing diversity. His endorsements included Caballero, civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, and the state teachers, nurses and public employee unions.
In the race for California governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom soundly beat fellow Democrat Antonio Villaraigosa 48.75 percent (101,960 votes) to 10.62 percent (22,209 votes). Newsom will face republican John H. Cox at 14.38 percent (30,084 votes) who beat fellow republican Travis Allen 8.57 percent (17,932 votes).