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Even without the backing of the largest bar association in his district, Demetrius Shelton won election to the State Bar Board of Governors on Thursday. And the 37-year-old Oakland deputy city attorney won big. He got 1,550 votes in becoming the newest representative from the Bar’s District Three, made up of Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. Sunnyvale solo practitioner Tahir Naim wound up second, with 849 votes, while Richard Tamor, a partner in Oakland’s Tamor & Tamor, received 586 votes. A total of 2,985 votes were cast in District Three. Also winning election to the State Bar board Thursday were 43-year-old Chico lawyer Richard Crabtree in District One, which includes 19 Northern California counties; Paul Hokokian, 51, a former Bar governor and a staff attorney for the Fresno County Department of Child Support Services, in District Five, which includes 14 Central California counties; and Sheldon Sloan, 67, government affairs counsel for Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, in District Seven, made up solely of Los Angeles County. Solo practitioner Raymond Aragon ran unopposed in District Nine, which consists of San Diego and Imperial counties. The race for District Three became slightly controversial when the Santa Clara County Bar Association — with more than 8,700 voting lawyers — refused to endorse Shelton, a longtime Alameda County bar activist, for violating a gentlemen’s agreement that rotates Bar board membership among the district’s four counties. Shelton ran last year when it was Santa Clara’s turn at the seat and split the vote in a way that let wild-card candidate Carl Lindstrom Jr. win. As a result, the Santa Clara bar refused to endorse any candidates, including Shelton, this year. Shelton downplayed the controversy throughout the campaign period, and vowed Thursday to be a good representative for all East Bay and Peninsula lawyers. “I’m very delighted to have been elected,” he said. “And I look forward to advancing the agendas of the State Bar and the District Three bar associations.” Shelton, who lives in Albany, said he would be a “strong advocate for fairness, access to legal services and the promotion of diversity and progress within our legal profession.” He added that he would work for online continuing education programs and low dues while focusing on the needs of solos, new lawyers and government attorneys.

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