Sheriff faces two challengers so far in 2014 election

Sheriff Laurie Smith speaks during a press conference at the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department in San Jose Tuesday morning. They arrested Antolin Garcia-Torres, 21, in connection with her kidnapping and murder.

With the election for Santa Clara County Sheriff less than eight months away, two candidates have filed paperwork indicating they plan to challenge incumbent Laurie Smith.
Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Jensen and former San Jose Police Officer Martin Monica have filed paperwork with the County Registrar of Voters establishing campaign committees for the June 3, 2014 election, according to Interim Assistant Registrar Matt Moreles.
Smith has filed similar paperwork, also indicating her intent to start raising money for the campaign, Moreles said.
The official candidate qualifying period is not until Feb. 10 through March 7, 2014, but establishing campaign committees allows candidates to start fundraising and campaigning, Moreles explained.
Jensen, who has already received the Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriffs Association’s and the Correctional Peace Officers’ Association’s endorsements for the office of sheriff, is a 28-year veteran of the local sheriff’s office, according to his campaign website.
DSA and CPOA members voted overwhelmingly to support Jensen’s candidacy in July, according to the DSA’s website. “Both associations are concerned about the current lack of vision, inadequate staffing, lack of training, outdated computers and patrol cars and the isolation of the department from other law enforcement agencies in the county,” read a statement on the DSA’s website attributed to DSA President Sgt. Dennis Moser.
Together, the DSA and CPOA represent 1,100 members who serve in law enforcement and in the jail system, according to the website.
Monica is a former San Jose police officer who left that city’s department in 2002, according to SJPD Sgt. Heather Randol, who declined to specify why Monica left the department.
Monica ran unsuccessfully for sheriff in 2010, defeated by Smith.
According to Monica’s 2010 campaign website, he is retired from a 20-year career in law enforcement, and at one time served as a chief of police. The website does not indicate in which community he was chief of police.
Smith has been Santa Clara County Sheriff since 1998, and is the County’s 28th sheriff, according to her 2014 campaign website.
Smith won re-election in 2010 with about 62 percent of the popular vote, according to the County Registrar’s website.
The Sheriff’s Office has a staff of 1,800 sworn and non-sworn employees, and an annual budget of about $308 million.
Calls to the three candidates for sheriff were not immediately returned.
In the June 3, 2014 election, a candidate will require more than 50 percent of the vote to win the office, Moreles said. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent, a runoff between the top two vote getters will take place in November 2014.
Other County races on the June 2014 ballot are the office of County Supervisor District 1 (South County), District Attorney and Tax Assessor. So far, only incumbents Mike Wasserman (Supervisor), Jeff Rosen (DA) and Larry Stone (Tax Assessor) have filed paperwork creating their campaign committees for 2014, Moreles said.
The June 2014 ballot will also feature the primary races for statewide and congressional races, according to Moreles.