The race is on to replace Santa Clara County’s long-term assessor, sheriff and district attorney. The top two DA candidates have raised a cumulative $725,000, while the two leading contestants for assessor have raked in more than $571,000.
Below is a glimpse of what candidates in county races raised from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.
Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone raised a total of $330,025. Of that amount, Stone raised $55,025 from 115 contributions and $275,000 through loans. He’s held the position since 1994, but this year he’s facing a handful of challengers. Stone has faced criticism for ending remote work for his staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, and his office experienced outbreaks not long after workers returned.
His best financed opponent is Gary Kremen, board chair of Valley Water and founder of Match.com. He received $241,273. Of that amount, $71,273 came from 135 contributions and $170,000 came from loans.
Accountant Andrew Crockett received $18,665 from 74 contributions and a loan. Former Deputy Assessor David Ginsborg received $45 in contributions during the first half of 2021, but did not report contributors. He has not reported contributions for the second half of last year.
David Pollack, founder of FirstAID Labs, has not officially reported any contributions. Pollack, who filed his papers in September 2021, appears to be running as a candidate in neighboring San Mateo County for the position of assessor-county clerk-recorder and chief elections officer.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen has received $485,483 from 841 contributions. He’s facing challengers for the first time since he was elected in 2010.
“That poll showed when voters hear about me and Mr. Rosen, we’re essentially neck and neck,” Khan told San José Spotlight, adding he’s optimistic about what this means for the June primary election.
Daniel Chung, a former deputy district attorney who sued his old boss last year, is also running. He’s raised $13,331 from 34 donors.
Chung alleges retaliation against him for writing an op-ed critical of the DA’s office. Chung has made public safety and victims’ rights critical components of his campaign. Rosen also has recently focused on the issue in the wake of several high-profile retail robberies.
Several candidates have jumped into the election for sheriff. Incumbent Laurie Smith has not yet indicated if she will seek another term. The California Attorney General is investigating the jail for possible civil rights violations. There is a civil grand jury accusation against Smith for corrupt misconduct. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors have voted no confidence in her leadership. Smith has held the position since 1998.
Retired sheriff Capt. Kevin Jensen raised $72,398 through 146 contributions and a loan of $25,000.
Sheriff Sgt. Christine Nagaye entered the race last September. A campaign representative said Nagaye mailed her financial information to the county and it has not been posted online yet.
Sheriff Sgt. Sean Allen filed his paperwork on Jan. 21 and has not reported any contributions.
“Being a newcomer has its challenges, but my platform is unique,” Allen told San José Spotlight. “I’m a homegrown native, genuine, and I reflect what the public wants with reforms, transparency and accountability.”
Palo Alto Police Chief Robert Jonsen filed his paperwork on Jan. 21 and has not reported any contributions.
“I think this election is going to be about a call for change,” Jonsen told San José Spotlight. “With everything going on with the sheriff’s department, and the scrutiny on the leadership there, I think voters have to decide whether they want to stay with a candidate in that structure, or go with someone with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective.”
Dave Knopf, former assistant chief of police in San Jose, dropped out of the race after less than a month.
District 1 Supervisor
The District 1 race was the subject of intense political debate last year during the county’s efforts to redraw its political boundaries. The Board of Supervisors approved a variation of a map proposed by a coalition of labor and civil rights groups that cut two candidates out of the district—Los Gatos Mayor Rob Rennie and former San Jose Councilmember Johnny Khamis. Rennie dropped out of the race, while Khamis decided to relocate within the new district lines.
Khamis received $197,004 from 479 contributions and a small loan in 2021.
“I’m humbled we had so much support,” Khamis told San José Spotlight. “We actually had a lot of outpouring of support after I moved into the district at the beginning of the year.”
Though Rennie dropped out of the race, he received $129,704 from 267 donors and through loans last year.
Claudia Rossi, a nurse and member of the Santa Clara County Board of Education, received $76,047 from 130 contributions and a small loan.
“If you look at who is contributing to my campaign, it’s teachers, it’s essential workers,” Rossi told San José Spotlight, adding her background in health care makes her an attractive candidate to voters. “When I knock on a door and share that I have an everyday job as a health care provider, people have a very positive reaction.”
Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine received $59,891 from 114 contributions. San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas filed her paperwork to enter the race on Jan. 4, but has not reported any contributions.
District 4 Supervisor
Supervisor Susan Ellenberg is, so far, running unopposed this year for District 4. Elected in 2018, Ellenberg has pushed the county to find alternatives to incarceration expand mental health treatment resources for residents. She received $117,788 from 276 contributions and a small loan.