The unofficial results of the June 7 primary election are in, with one Riverside judicial race undecided and five new judges elected to the Inland Empire’s courts.
Newly elected judges will be sworn in Jan. 1.
Follow the latest updates for both counties here.
San Bernardino County results
These uncertified results were published by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters at 11:00 a.m. June 14. The final results will be slightly different when the election is certified.
Deputy District Attorney David Tulcan, a Crestline-raised child of Soviet-refugees, received 68% of the votes in his race for San Bernardino Superior Judge.
Tulcan has a wide range of experience, including civil litigation in private firms, prosecuting rapes and murders in the district attorney’s office, and now litigating civil consumer and environmental protection cases in the district attorney’s office, he said.
“Basically, any type of crime that you can imagine out there I’ve had my hands in one form or another as a prosecutor, and fought diligently, ethically, for the rights of victims and for public safety,” Tulcan said at a forum hosted by Follow Our Courts, the University of Redlands and the League of Women Voters of San Bernardino Area in April.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Melissa Rodriguez also won election in San Bernardino, receiving 72% of the votes.
Rodriguez centered her 17 years as a prosecutor on crime victims, led the county’s human trafficking unit, is a certified expert on human trafficking and worked to decriminalize young girls who were victims of trafficking, she said at the April forum hosted by Follow Our Courts, the University of Redlands and the League of Women Voters of San Bernardino Area.
Rodriguez said it is important for judges to share one another’s burdens.
“If I have an opportunity throughout my day to be able to take a motion from another judge or hear another case, or hear a preliminary hearing to lighten another judge’s load because they’ve got a trial or something that they’ve got to do, I think that’s an important concept,” Rodriguez said at the forum.
After winning the election, Rodriguez said she was humbled at the support from the community.
“I will continue to work hard for the people of San Bernardino, and will do so to the best of my ability,” Rodriguez said by email.
Riverside County results
These uncertified results were published by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters at 5:00 p.m. June 14. The final results will be slightly different when the election is certified.
In Riverside, one judicial race is undecided, because no candidate received more than 50% of the vote.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Natalie Lough won 49.84% of the vote, falling 469 votes short of a majority victory. Amy Zois Barajas won 28% of the vote, coming in second of the three candidates for this office.
Unless the certified election results tip Lough over the 50% mark, Lough and Barajas will go against each other in the November general election.
Lough has worked a range of assignments from child molestation to death penalties cases in her 15 years at the district attorney’s office, she said during a candidate forum hosted by Follow Our Courts and Riverside City College in May.
For the past 10 years, she has been working on appellate cases, where she reviews errors made by sitting judicial officers.
She met her husband, another deputy district attorney, in the prosecutor’s office, and is raising two kids with him.
“I think (my work on the appellate division) makes (me) uniquely qualified, not because it gives me some kind of legal encyclopedia, but because it makes me realize what I don’t know,” Lough said at the forum.
Barajas has worked for the district attorney’s office since she joined the bar in 2005, according to her website. She has served as a line level trial prosecutor in the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, Vehicle Homicide Unit, the Gang Unit, the Domestic Violence Unit and the Political Corruption Unit, she says on her website. She grew up in Riverside and graduated from Southwestern University School of Law in 2004, she says on her website. Barajas did not attend the candidate forum.
Deputy District Attorney Kristi Kirk was elected to office with 55% of the vote in a three-candidate race.
Kirk grew up in the small farming town of Kelseyville in Northern California. Her father worked in a geothermal plant for PG&E, and her mother was a baker, she said in her comments during a candidate forum hosted by Follow Our Courts and Riverside City College in May.
She was the first in her family to graduate from college, and started in a junior college in Santa Rosa.
She was hired by the district attorney’s office while in her third year at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
Kirk always dreamed of being a district attorney, and met her husband, a probation officer, while working in the desert. She is raising two children with him.
In her 17-year career, Kirk has worked in misdemeanors and domestic violence, but focused on gangs and homicides.
“I promise to bring the work ethic that my father taught me at an early age, to always try to improve yourself, to learn from your failures, to fall down to get back up, and I will continue to hold that belief as I become your judge,” Kirk said at the forum.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Stone won 64% of the vote in his race.
Stone has been a prosecutor since 2006, has experience in all of Riverside County’s courtrooms, and has handled 100 felony cases a day as a prosecutor, he said in a candidate forum hosted by Follow Our Courts and Riverside City College in May.
He lives with his wife and five children a couple of miles away from the house in southwest Riverside County that he grew up in.
His neurodivergent daughter opened his eyes to the county’s needs, and he is supportive of courtrooms that are dedicated toward mental health, he said.
Stone has worked with doctors and defense attorneys to get mental health treatment for criminal defendants.
“I’m experienced in all types of serious cases, and I’ll be ready to go on day one no matter where I am sent,” Stone said, at the forum.
Deputy District Attorney Jay Kiel won 52% of the votes in his race.
Kiel was raised by a single mother in downtown Baltimore, he said in a candidate forum hosted by Follow Our Courts and Riverside City College in May. He went to military school for eight years, then went to college on the East Coast, and took night school while working a day job to get his law degree.
He spent his 15 years after law school with the district attorney’s office, where he prosecuted major narcotics and cartel cases. He now serves on the gang and homicide unit.
He is married, has a 12-year-old son, works with the Raincross Boxing Academy for at-risk youth and coaches a youth travel baseball team.
“What I bring to the table is my character, my work ethic and my integrity. I’m going to carry that, I’ve carried that my whole 15 years as a prosecutor, and I’m going to bring that to the bench if I’m elected by the people of Riverside,” Kiel said at the forum.