On June 8, 2010, I received the highest number of votes for San Francisco Superior Court, winning nearly 46% in a three way race and defeating the incumbent. However, because judicial candidates have to win a majority, I now have to go into a run-off in November against the incumbent. Still, I head into November as the frontrunner.
My success was due to the grassroots support I gained from San Franciscans who believe that their judges should reflect the community’s values and its diversity. The diversity I represented was not only that I am gay and Latino but that I come from a working-class background and have a sense of the lives of the ordinary people who are so often the ones who get enmeshed in the legal system. In the end, I was endorsed by progressives, moderates, elected officials, community activists, labor unions and minority bar associations. I ran against a legal establishment that too often acts as if judges are members of a private club, instead of public servants, and that the courts exist for the benefit of lawyers rather than the people.
Over and over again I reminded voters that the courts are the third branch of government and that the people have been given a say in who runs the courts. It was a message that resonated as the election results showed.
The campaign now enters the last phase and I am not taking anything for granted. The legal establishment has closed ranks behind my opponent despite coming in second place in the primary and he has made statements that indicate he will go negative to hang on to his seat. More than ever, I need people power to help propel me to victory in November.
My immediate need is to replenish my campaign treasury which was exhausted in the primary. Please consider a contribution to my campaign today. You can contribute on-line at www.navaforjudge.com or download the donor form at my website and mail a check. Either way, you will help make history by electing San Francisco’s first openly gay judge of color.