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San Jose Independent Police Auditor Teresa Guerrero-Daley has won one of two open seats on the Santa Clara Superior Court bench. Deputy District Attorney Griffin Bonini finished first in Tuesday’s other Santa Clara judicial race, setting up a runoff with second place vote getter Enrique Colin, a deputy public defender. Santa Clara voters also approved a ballot measure that transfers oversight of the county’s probation department from the court to the county Board of Supervisors. In Contra Costa County, Judge John Sugiyama easily dispatched his court commissioner opponent, while in Marin County, Judge Michael Dufficy beat back a challenge with 58 percent of the vote. Political endorsements and affiliations made the difference in the Santa Clara bench elections. Guerrero-Daley, a former La Raza Lawyers chapter president who won 58 percent of the vote, had endorsements from San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales, Sheriff Laurie Smith, San Jose’s congressional representatives and numerous members of the city council and county board of supervisors. Bonini, who led with 45 percent of the vote, had endorsements from former Sheriff Charles Gillingham, the Deputy Sheriff’s and the San Jose Police Officer’s Association. Colin, another former La Raza Lawyers president, had endorsements from Sheriff Smith and congressional representatives. He received 32 percent of the vote. Civil attorney William Monahan, who got 41 percent of the vote in losing to Guerrero-Daley, didn’t seek endorsements. Nor did civil attorney Lance Burrow, who finished behind Bonini and Colin in the other race with 22 percent of the vote. In CoCo County, Walnut Creek Judge Sugiyama won 68 percent of the vote and part-time court commissioner Denise Schmidt got 32 percent, according to unofficial county totals available early Wednesday. Schmidt, a former civil attorney who has been hearing traffic, small claims and other low-level court matters for six years, had argued that she had deeper roots in the local legal community than Sugiyama, a 2002 Gov. Gray Davis appointee. Sugiyama, who has lived in Contra Costa County for nearly 30 years, countered that he had far more legal experience than Schmidt. Before he came to the bench, Sugiyama rose through the ranks of the attorney general’s office in San Francisco, later becoming chief counsel for the department of corrections.

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