BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
Gary Kremen of Palo Alto has dropped out of the race for county assessor after it was revealed that last year one of his campaign employees came across a photo that showed Kremen and his partner shirtless.
San Jose Spotlight, an online news publication, reported the details over the weekend, and Kremen promptly announced he was ending his campaign on Saturday.
Spotlight reported that the employee, who wasn’t named in the article, saw the photo when he or she was looking through a Dropbox used by Kremen to store hundreds of campaign-related photos. There were four photos that showed Kremen and his partner Essy Stone in bed, nude from the chest up, Spotlight reported.
Kremen told the Post today (Feb. 28) that the photos were taken while Stone was nursing their newborn.
Kremen leaving the race paves the way for incumbent Larry Stone, 80, to be elected to his eighth term as assessor.
The assessor’s job is to estimate the value of each property in the county, which determines property taxes.
Kremen is also the chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. He heads a seven-person board and is the main spokesperson for the district. His term expires in December.
Kremen was scheduled to participate in a study session tonight with the Palo Alto City Council about a water purification project in the city, but the city crossed the item out on the agenda.
City Manager Ed Shikada said that the study session was deferred “due to a financial issue coming to light last week” related to the cost and funding for the water purification project.
Kremen, 58, made his fortune as an internet entrepreneur in the late 90s and early 2000s. He founded the website match.com and registered several lucrative domain names, including jobs.com, housing.com and sex.com — which he sold for around $12 million in 2006.
More recently, Kremen has founded and led solar power and water companies.
Kremen raised $71,273 last year for his campaign. He also loaned his campaign $170,000, according to campaign finance documents.