San Jose

Santa Clara Co. Sheriff's Race Appears to Be Headed to Runoff Election

Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith appears headed to a runoff election in November after not receiving a majority of the vote to secure her sixth term in office.

Smith had 45 percent of the vote with 61 percent of precincts reporting as of early Wednesday morning. Her opponent and former Undersheriff John Hirokawa had 30 percent of the vote.

Smith's tenure has been marred by multiple controversies, including the death of inmate Michael Tyree in August 2016. Three jail guards were convicted of murder in Tyree's death.

In April, inmates at Santa Clara County jails went on a hunger strike that lasted nearly two weeks after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were "mistakenly admitted" into the county's Main Jail in San Jose.

All four candidates running against Smith -- Hirokawa, Joe La Jeunesse, Martin Monica and Jose Salcido -- have mentioned jail reform in their platforms.

Contact Us