Judge Aaron Persky, whose 15-year judicial career will be publicly defined by how he handled an alcohol-fueled sexual assault case, was removed from the bench by Santa Clara County .
With 75 percent of precincts reporting, nearly 60 percent of voters supported Persky’s recall. He will be replaced by Assistant District Attorney Cindy Seeley Hendrickson, who was outpacing San Jose civil litigator Angela Storey, 70 percent to 30 percent.
“Tonight’s results mirror what we heard while we were out talking to voters,” Michele Dauber, who led the recall campaign, said in an email. “We are thankful for our supporters and every person who donated their time.”
The election results close the book on a divisive campaign that raised difficult questions about how the judicial system handles violence against women, how the public views judicial decision-making and independence and how judges under political fire should respond. But the vote could continue to resonate, said retired Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Leonard Edwards.
“This will put a chill in any judge when considering a sentence in the criminal courts,” Edwards said, “and I suppose that’s what the recall supporters wanted.”
Persky became the first judge recalled in California since 1932, when three Los Angeles County judges were ousted after the local bar association accused of them of graft.