Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Najera Clinches Win Over Incumbent Judge James Pierce
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The election of Deputy District Attorney Carol Najera to the Los Angeles Superior Court became a mathematical certainty yesterday when the office of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk released its latest update of results.
That update gave Najera 300,540 votes, or 50.59 percent, to 293,501 votes, or 49.41 percent, for Judge James B. Pierce. Najera’s lead, which was less than 4,000 on Election Day, has now stretched to more than 7,000 with the counting of absentee, provisional, and miscellaneous ballots.
The result, which few had predicted, is an “aberration” that is unlikely to result in an increased number of challenges to sitting judges, campaign consultant Fred Huebscher told the MetNews.
Huebscher, who did not advise either candidate but carried Najera on slate mailers he puts out, attributed the victory to the combination of Pierce’s lack of a visible campaign and Najera’s ballot designation
“If she hadn’t been listed as Violent Crimes Prosecutor, I’m almost positive she would not have won,” he said of Najera. Huebscher was an unpaid adviser to Lynn Olson in her successful challenge to then-Judge Dzintra Janavs in 2006.
Before that, no incumbent judge had lost a Los Angeles County-wide race since 1988, and none had lost one since.
Pierce, Huebscher opined, could have won the election with a modest effort. “He could have spent $6,500 to buy [Representative] Maxine Waters’ slate,” which is considered highly effective in attracting African-American voters, and it might have been enough to turn the election in Pierce’s favor, the consultant said.
Pierce was the only incumbent challenged this year. Two years ago, three incumbents, including Olson, drew challenges, and all won by large margins.
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