DA union still hopeful Henry pulls out a win

With more than 49,000 ballots still to be counted, the president of the Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Association is still hopeful that judicial challenger John Henry can pull off a victory.

Henry, a prosecutor, was challenging Riverside County Superior Court Judge Craig Riemer. The unofficial tally has Riemer with 51.26 percent and Henry with 48.74 percent.

Riemer maintained the lead with each posting of new results. There are 4,004 votes between them.

“It’s very close. … One can only hope,” said John Aki, president of the district attorney union. “Our whole point was that we wanted to raise awareness in the community about these activist judges. I think we were successful in that.”

The Henry-Riemer showdown was the most closely-watched judicial contest on Tuesday’s ballot. Three other judges also retained their seats.

The Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Association spent more than $100,000 on Henry’s campaign. They also backed challenger Richard Nixon, who failed to unseat Judge Gary Tranbarger.

Henry told The Desert Sun that he hadn’t contacted Riemer yet, but planned to call him “to congratulate him and let that be that.”

“I understand that the incumbency is always a difficult thing to overcome,” Henry said. “I thought we did a good job in trying to get our message out to voters. Obviously, we missed about 4,000 of them.”

The Riverside County Registrar will post more results Friday evening.

Officials have to process about 38,000 remaining vote-by-mail and 7,000 provisional ballots. They also have to duplicate and count 4,200 damaged ballots.

First results show judges in the lead

The first round of election results shows voters are leaning towards retaining the four Riverside County Superior Court judges who are on the ballot today.

The closest of the races also is the closely-watched battle between Judge Craig Riemer and his challenger, prosecutor John Henry.

Riemer has 55,308 votes, or 51.28 percent of the vote that’s been tallied. Henry – strongly backed by the county’s public safety unions – is close behind with 52,547 votes, or 48.72 percent.

In the other contests:

– Judge Victoria Cameron is fending off attorney Tom Eckhardt, 63.89 percent 36.11 percent

– Judge Jim Cox is beating attorney Michael Kennedy, 58.78 percent to 41.25 percent.

– Judge Gary Tranbarger leads attorney Richard Nixon, 58.90 percent to 41.10 percent.

 

Primary candidates building campaign warchests

This week, state and local candidates on the primary ballot had to report how much the amount of money they raised and spent between Jan. 1 and March 17.

The money raised includes both donations and any loans.

Here’s a roundup of the latest fundraising:

42nd ASSEMBLY SEAT

Incumbent Brian Nestande: The Palm Desert Republican raised $23,400, spent $40,699 and has $88,177 in cash on hand.

Challenger Mark Orozco: The Beaumont Democrat raised $17,822, spent $3,855 and has $19,363 in cash on hand.

56th ASSEMBLY SEAT

Incumbent V. Manuel Pérez: The Coachella Democrat raised $58,305, spent $57,061 and has $155,935 in cash on hand.

Challenger Corky Reynaga-Emett: Fundraising details for the Indio Republican was not available on the California Secretary of State’s website today.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT SEAT 1

Incumbent Victoria Cameron raised $28,425, spent $19,933 and has $9,087 in cash on hand.

Challenger Tom Eckhardt has formed a campaign committee but fundraising details were not available on the Riverside County Registrar of Voters’ website today.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT SEAT 2

Incumbent James Cox loaned himself $50,000, spent $18,800 and has $31,202 in cash on hand.

Challenger Michael Kennedy has not yet formed a campaign committee, according to the Riverside County Registrar of Voters’ website.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT SEAT 9

Incumbent Craig Riemer raised $19,448, spent $26,431 and has $68,356 in cash on hand.

Challenger John Henry raised $73,701, spent $56,558 and has $83,411 in cash on hand.

RIVERSIDE COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT SEAT 12

Incumbent Gary Tranbarger raised $31,700, spent $19,726 and has $11,977 in cash on hand.

Challenger Richard Nixon raised $31,988, spent $17,439 and has $14,549 in cash on hand.

The candidates in the 36th Congressional race — Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack and her Democratic challenger, Dr. Raul Ruiz — have until mid-April to release their next fundraising reports.

County judicial candidate challenges incumbent to debate

Riverside County prosecutor John Henry, a candidate for Superior Court judge, is challenging the incumbent to a debate.

In a news release, Henry said Judge Craig Riemer has publicly questioned his motivation for running and struck a “condescending and insulting” tone when discussing the campaign.

“I am more than willing to put my years as a prosecutor up against Mr. Riemer’s years as a research lawyer before he became a judge,” Henry said in a statement.

“I am willing to meet him at anytime, anywhere and in front of any audience to debate the real issues at stake here.”

When contacted by The Desert Sun, Riemer said it was the first he was hearing about a proposed debate.

“I have received nothing on that subject from Henry’s camp. If and when I do, I will consider it,” Riemer said in an email.

“But the very fact that he is issuing the challenge to the press, rather than to me, shows that this is simply another quest for free publicity, rather than a serious attempt to engage me.”

Riemer is one of four Riverside County Superior Court judges being challenged in the June 5 election.