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Lillian Sing easily won election to an open seat on the San Francisco bench. Sing, who spent 20 years on the bench before retiring a few years ago for an aborted run at political office, was aheadof sole practitioner Eric Safire by a 68 to 32 percent margin at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, with about 90 percent of precincts reporting. In Alameda County, where six are vyingfor one open seat, early returnsshowed Dennis Hayashi leading with 30 percent. Hayashi, a public interest lawyer who lost in a run for state Assembly two years ago, is the most politically experienced candidate. Behind him were Deputy County Counsel Sandra Bean, with 21 percent; Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver & Wilson’s Kathy Mount, with 18 percent; former State Bar prosecutor Mike Nisperos Jr., with 12 percent; and solo Philip Knudsen and trial lawyer Frederick Remer, each with 9 percent. Assuming no candidate ends up with more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two finishers will face each other in a Nov. 7 run off. In San Mateo County, Deputy DA Susan Irene Etazadi was poised to defeatRedwood City solo Lisa Maguire. With 483 of 518 precincts reporting, Etazadi was ahead, with 54 percent of the vote to Maguire’s 45 percent. Maguire, herself a former prosecutor, had accusedEtazadi of using the county’s internal mail system to send campaign materials, a claim Etazadi denied. In Marin County, Superior Court Judge John Sutro Jr. easily dispatched challenger Cliff Meneken. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Sutro had 71 percent of the vote. In Santa Clara’s two open seat contests, business litigator William Monahan had just over 50 percent of the votes, while general civil lawyer Douglas Allen had 33 percent and patent attorney George Cole 16 percent. If Monahan holds that edge, he can avoid a Nov. 7 run-off. The second race was much closer late Tuesday: With about half of precincts reporting, Shawna Schwarz and former prosecutor Michele McKay McCoy each had about 34 percent of the vote, with prosecutor Timothy Pitsker a step behind at 32 percent. Even after the votes are counted, the outcome may not be clear. After entering the race, Schwarz, a former prosecutor, was appointed to fill another bench vacancy and now sits as a judge. If she won outright, it’s possible she could move to that seat and allow the governor to appoint a replacement. If she makes the run-off, it’s possible she could bow out and let the other two candidates face each other in November.

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