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The Bay Area’s two contested judicial races are poised to produce a pair of surprising outcomes. In Santa Clara County, prosecutor Tim Pitsker opened a narrow lead over his better-financed opponent, former deputy DA Michele McKay McCoy. With about two-thirds of precincts reporting, Pitsker was ahead 51 percent to McCoy’s 49 percent. McCoy had finished ahead of Pitsker in June, and in September loaned her campaign $48,000. As of then, Pitsker had raised just $850. But McCoy chose to interrupt her campaigning for a three-week vacation in Europe last month. In Alameda County, political novice Sandra Bean held a 51-48 advantage over Dennis Hayashi with about 70 percent of precincts reporting. Hayashi had been the top vote-getter in June, garnering 31 percent of the vote in a six-way race. Bean had finished with 21 percent. But Bean, who represents the county in pursuing elder abuse actions on behalf of seniors, was endorsed by three of her former opponents, and by 38 of the county’s 69 sitting judges. Just three judges blessed Hayashi, though the civil rights lawyer, who ran unsuccessfully for the state Assembly in 2004, was endorsed by the Democratic Party and by high-powered politicos Bill Lockyer and Barbara Lee.

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