Laurie Smith

With the deadline to file for candidacy more than two weeks away, some intending to run for Santa Clara County elected offices in the June primary have already reported growing war chests for the upcoming campaign.
The June 3 gubernatorial primary will feature a number of County races, though the only one contested so far is the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s election, according to an “unofficial” candidate list on the County Registrar of Voters’ website.
Incumbent Sheriff Laurie Smith, retired Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Jensen and former San Jose Police Officer Martin Monica are on that list of candidates so far.
The official filing date for individuals to declare their candidacy for the election started Feb. 10, and lasts until March 7, according to the Registrar.
Those who have already started collecting campaign funds were required to report financial disclosures on fundraising activities for the second half of 2013 by Jan. 31. Those disclosures, required by the Fair Political Practices Commission, are also posted on the Registrar’s website.
Jensen sent out a press release earlier this month noting that in the latest filing period (July to December), his campaign raised more than Smith.
In the second half of 2013, Jensen reported raising about $31,868 in campaign funds. That amount is also his total raised for the year, according to the online filings.
Smith, by contrast, raised about $27,500 from July to December 2013, and about $60,450 for the entire calendar year.
Jensen last year received endorsements from the Santa Clara County Sheriffs Association and the Correctional Peace Officers’ Association for the 2014 sheriff’s race. He is a 28-year veteran of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office.
In a press release, Jensen’s campaign said his ability to raise more than Smith in the latest reporting period is due to his “no-pressure fundraising effort where he makes his case for being elected sheriff and allows potential supporters to make up their own minds.”
“Since I’m not a politician, I’m dependent on a grassroots organization,” Jensen said. “It’s very encouraging to have the support of law enforcement, both active and retired, officers and rank and file and the community. This is an important election and I’m finding that many in the County believe, as I do, that it’s time for a change in leadership.”
Smith’s disclosure for 2013 lists a handful of retired and current sheriff’s staff as individual contributors, but not as many as Jensen’s.
But the sheriff hasn’t even actively started raising money for her campaign, and in fact has not even officially declared her intent to run for re-election, according to her political consultant Rich Robinson.
“There has been no concerted effort to raise money,” said Robinson. Contributions reported to Smith’s campaign in 2013 are from supporters anticipating her re-election effort.
Smith is planning to declare her candidacy at the end of February, and her campaign Monday announced a “campaign kick-off” event scheduled for March 5, at La Pinata restaurant in San Jose, according to her campaign’s Facebook page.
Robinson dismissed Jensen’s reported campaign fundraising total as “a spit in the ocean” compared to the political capital of an opponent who has been sheriff since 1998.
“He can raise as much as he wants, but he’s not going to beat the sheriff,” Robinson said.
The sheriff was not immediately available for a comment.
Martin Monica, a former San Jose Police Officer who left that department in 2002, has not yet filed any online campaign disclosure forms, according to the Registrar’s website. Monica ran for sheriff in 2010, but was 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.
The Sheriff’s Office has a staff of 1,800 sworn and non-sworn employees, and an annual budget of about $308 million.
In the June 3, 2014 election, a candidate will require more than 50 percent of the vote to win the office, according to Registar’s staff. 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 – in which South County residents are eligible to vote – 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 indicating their intent to run for re-election this year.
State, regional and national offices up for election on the June 3 primary ballot include the governor, state assemblymembers, US Congressional and Senate races.
Sheriff Laurie Smith, incumbent
– Raised $60,450 in calendar year 2013
– Raised $27,475 from July to December 2013
– Spent about $4,000 in 2013
Kevin Jensen, candidate for sheriff
– Raised $31,868.02 in calendar year 2013, all reported from July to December
– Spent about $5,777 in 2013
Martin Monica, candidate for sheriff
– No online financial disclosure reports filed for 2013 so far.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen, incumbent (uncontested as of Feb. 17)
– Raised $181,665 in calendar year 2013
– Raised $52,428 from July to December 2013
– Spent about $22,617 in 2013
Supervisor Mike Wasserman, incumbent (uncontested as of Feb. 17)
– Raised $128,027.64 in calendar year 2013
– Raised $91,172.66 from July to December 2013
– Spent about $12,166.97 in 2013
Tax Assessor Larry Stone, incumbent (uncontested as of Feb. 17)
– Raised $30,001 in calendar year 2013, all reported from July to December
– Spent about $4,533 in 2013

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