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Seventy-seven days before the next judicial elections, seven judicial offices are listed as contested by Riverside and San Bernardino County clerks.

Riverside County

As of March 21, four of Riverside Superior Court’s 30 judicial races have contests for open seats, according to the Riverside County candidate list.

Voters will choose between Riverside Superior Court Commissioner Eric Isaac and Deputy District Attorney Jason Stone to replace Judge Burke Strunsky’s seat. Strunsky is leaving his seat to run for District Attorney, in opposition to Lara Gressley and incumbent Michael Hestrin.

Riverside sole practitioner Richard Swanson, Deputy District Attorney Natalie Lough and senior gang and homicide prosecutor Amy Zois Barajas will campaign for the seat to be vacated by Judge Thomas Cahraman.


Mail-in voting begins: May 9

Deadline to register to vote: May 23

Election: June 7

Certification deadline: July 7

General election: Nov. 8

Criminal defense attorney Christopher Whelton, Deputy District Attorney Kristi Kirk and Francisco Navarro are vying for the seat Judge Dale Wells is vacating. Riverside Superior Court Commissioner Mickie Reed also filed initial paperwork, but has not qualified for the ballot yet.

Deputy District Attorney Jay Kiel and Riverside Superior Court Commissioner Laura Garcia are pushing for the seat Judge Mac Fisher is vacating.

San Bernardino County

Three of San Bernardino Superior Court’s 34 judicial offices are contested, according to San Bernardino Clerk Recorder’s March 17 unofficial candidate report. An official report will come out April 4.

Voters will choose between Deputy Public Defender Mario Martinez Jr. and Deputy District Attorney David Tulcan to occupy Office 7, which is an open seat. Martinez has not yet filed a candidate statement, required to qualify for the ballot.

Criminal defense attorney James McGee and Supervising Deputy District Attorney Melissa Rodriguez are slated to compete over Office 17, also open.

Attorney Jonathan Goldstein is challenging San Bernardino Superior Judge Kawika Smith in the election’s only challenge to an incumbent. Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Smith to the court July 7, after Judge Keith Davis retired. Smith was the Supervising Deputy Public Defender of the county before his appointment. Goldstein has not reached the signature threshold to qualify for the ballot yet.

Unchallenged Riverside incumbents

  • Irma Poole Asberry
  • Dean Benjamini 
  • Angel M. Bermudez 
  • Susanne S. Cho
  • Steve Counelis
  • Sean Paul Crandell 
  • Samuel Diaz Jr.
  • John G. Evans
  • Chad W. Firetag
  • Tim F. Freer
  • Stephen Jeffrey Gallon
  • Carol A. Greene
  • Kelly L. Hansen
  • Christopher Bard Harmon 
  • Jorge Hernandez 
  • Kristi E. Hester
  • Mark E. Johnson
  • Joshua Knight 
  • Charles Jacob Koosed
  • Michele A. Mathis
  • John Monterosso
  • Mark E. Petersen
  • Mark E. Singerton
  • Anthony Rene Villalobos
  • Marie E. Wood
  • Jeffrey M. Zimel

Unchallenged San Bernardino incumbents

  • Aruna P. Rodrigo
  • Colin Bilash
  • Kyle Brodie
  • Carlos M. Cabrera
  • Annemarie Georgina Pace
  • John M. Pacheco Sr.
  • Lynn Marie Poncin
  • Charles Joe Umeda
  • Michael Alan Sachs
  • Wilfred J. Schneider Jr.
  • James Hosking
  • Gregory Scott Tavill
  • Ingrid A. Uhler
  • Katrina West
  • David A. Williams
  • Gilbert G. Ochoa
  • David Samuel Cohn
  • Miriam I. Morton
  • Tom S. Garza
  • Cara D. Hutson
  • Steven A. Mapes
  • Corey G. Lee
  • Bryan Stodghill
  • Khymberli Apaloo
  • Steven Singley
  • Guy Alan Bovee
  • Shannon Faherty
  • Joseph Ortiz

David Gonzalez contributed to this report.


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