Police unions, political establishment split over candidates for judge

Daily Post Staff Writer

A race for judge in Santa Clara County is pitting the political establishment against rank-and-file police officers, endorsements and fundraising forms show.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Jay Boyarsky, 58, of Palo Alto, is backed by 17 elected officials from all levels of government, with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo at the top of the list.

Deputy District Attorney Johnene Stebbins, 54, of San Jose, has been endorsed by 11 police unions in Santa Clara County, according to her website.

Stebbins is also backed by the Santa Clara County Government Attorneys Association, which represents prosecutors in District Attorney Jeff Rosen’s office.

DA supports Boyarsky

Rosen is supporting Boyarsky, who became the second-in-command when Rosen was elected in 2010.

Stebbins has been a prosecutor in the office for 26 years.

Boyarsky has raised $60,127, and Stebbins has raised $43,947, campaign finance forms show.
A third candidate, family attorney Nicole Ford, hasn’t raised any money, campaign finance forms show.

They are running on March 5 for a seat left open by retiring Judge Vincent Chiarello. The term is six years.

Chiarello works at the Palo Alto Courthouse, but the winner could be assigned anywhere in the court system.

Judges split over candidates

Judges are split on who to support — Boyarsky has endorsements from 16 sitting judges and seven who are retired, and Stebbins has endorsements from 20 sitting judges, including Chiarello, and three who are retired.

More prosecutors are backing Boyarsky — district attorneys from San Mateo, San Joaquin, Yolo and Yuma counties endorsed his campaign.

Boyarsky is supported by three candidates running for Eshoo’s seat: former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Assemblyman Evan Low and Supervisor Joe Simitian. Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Otto Lee are also backing him.

Boyarsky was endorsed by three former Palo Alto police chiefs — Lynne Johnson, Dennis Burns and Santa Clara County Sheriff Bob Jonsen — and three former mayors: Vic Ojakian, Liz Kniss and Adrian Fine.

Fourteen criminal defense attorneys have endorsed Boyarsky, including Daniel Barton and public defender Gary Goodman.

The San Jose Police Officers’ Association and the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of Santa Clara County endorsed both candidates.

Stebbins was also endorsed by police unions from Palo Alto, Los Altos, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Milpitas, Morgan Hill and Campbell, according to her website.

Sgt. Ken Kratt, the president of the Palo Alto Police Police Officers’ Association, didn’t return a request for comment about why the union endorsed Stebbins. In a previous interview, Kratt said his union doesn’t endorse candidates.


  1. Let’s say Boyarski wins and as a judge he learns that the DA has, once again, been caught hiding exculpatory information from the defense. Does he hold the DA, his buddy Jeff Rosen, in criminal contempt, as is the norm in other California courtrooms? Or does he let the DA’s office off with a strongly worded lecture, and the episode is repeated over and over?

  2. I will be fair blah blah blah Maricela blah blah blah everyone will be seen and heard blah blah blah dont you just love my everpresent, cute and fetching smile – blah blah blah. Boyarsky is a tool.

  3. Boyarski ran for Judge some years ago and [Portion removed due to terms of service violation, commenter provided incorrect information. Boyarski ran in 2008 and came in fourth place. He lost to Diane Ritchie. Also ahead of him were Lane Liroff and Jess Valencia.].

    [Portion removed. No proof that the statement is accurate. Terms of Service violation.] He’s been an administrator for over a decade and not actively prosecuting in the courts. Judges in our courts are an important part of both our safety and out humanity.

    I cannot vote for Boyarsky. I will vote for the alternative. Stebbins’ website says she’s been active in court case for 26 years. I attended a meet’n’greet with Stebbins and she really impressed the whole audience with her excellent experience and character. I hope others look into her qualifications.

  4. No way would I ever vote for Jay Boyarsky. He’s a tool for the establishment and will go along with their agenda. Will continue the catch & release cycle.

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