Beronio Gains Key Endorsements in Judges Race

Janene-lighter-1In the past week, Janene Beronio picked up critical endorsements by both the Sacramento Bee and Davis Enterprise. The key question in the Yolo County Judge race right now is whether Janene Beronio has the ability to end this race in June or whether it goes to November.

The Woodland Daily Democrat endorsed Ms. Beronio as well.  “This is an unusual and welcomed development,” said Beronio campaign spokesperson Judge Dave Rosenberg. “To have all three major local newspapers endorse the same candidate in a contested election is a very rare event. Newspaper endorsements are important – newspapers study the candidates in great detail and they speak from the perspective of a neutral and unbiased observer. All three papers have recognized that Janene Beronio has the experience and the savvy to be a fine Judge and will serve Yolo County with distinction.”

Commissioner Beronio said today, “I have the experience and training to be a judicial officer. But I really don’t have the experience and training to be a candidate running for office. So, it’s really gratifying and humbling to receive endorsements by all three major local newspapers.”

The Bee writes, “In Yolo County, four experienced attorneys are seeking a seat left open when Judge Stephen Mock retired. Voters could pick almost any one of them and not go wrong.” However, like many, they end up siding with Ms. Beronio.

They write, “Among the solid candidates, we lean toward Janene Beronio. Yolo County judges appointed her Superior Court commissioner, a post she has held for 25 years. Current Yolo Superior Court judges support Beronio, as do the Yolo County Bar Association and Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, all of which are important stamps of approval.”

They add, “Before becoming a commissioner, Beronio spent a decade as a Yolo County deputy district attorney. A downside is that Beronio lives in Solano County; there is no residency requirement for judges.”

“Experience is important. Without a doubt, Beronio could carry out the duties of a judge today. Delaini ought to be at or near the head of the line for the next Superior Court opening,” they conclude.

At the same time, they have good words to say on the other three.

On Rick Cohen: “Attorney Fredrick S. “Rick” Cohen, a family-law specialist who lives in Sacramento County, has endorsements from several Democratic politicians. He promises to focus on family law, which is important.”

On John Brennan: “Attorney John P. Brennan, who lives in the Yolo County city of West Sacramento, has 10 years of experience as a deputy district attorney in San Francisco, Kings and Sacramento counties. For the past decade, he has been a criminal defense attorney. He has been endorsed by several Sacramento Superior Court judges.”

On Larenda Delaini: “Deputy Attorney General Larenda Delaini is steeped in criminal law and has built a reputation among fellow deputy attorneys general for being a brilliant attorney.

“She represents the state in complex matters of sentencing and criminal law, and in death penalty cases, the weightiest matters handled by the attorney general’s office. She is representing the state against David Breaux and David Scott Daniels, who were sentenced to death for Sacramento County murders.

“Delaini spent four-plus years as a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa and Sacramento counties, is a lifelong Yolo County resident, and is married to a West Sacramento police lieutenant. She has great potential and could be a star on the already solid Yolo County bench.”

In the meantime, the Davis’ Enterprises’ endorsement of Janene Beronio reads more like her campaign’s talking points.

The Enterprise writes, “Yolo County voters have the rare opportunity this spring to elect a Superior Court judge who has spent the past 25 years basically doing the job already. She is uniquely qualified for the job she seeks.”

“Court Commissioner Janene Beronio has the support of every sitting and retired judge in Yolo County, as well as many practicing attorneys and every law-enforcement organization in the county. We can see why,” they write.

“Since her appointment as commissioner in 1989, Beronio has undertaken numerous assignments, from traffic, juvenile and family court matters to misdemeanor and felony criminal proceedings,” they continue. “As a judge, she would enjoy a wider range of authority, such as presiding over felony trials, which comprise a significant portion of the court’s calendar.”

Janene Beronio they write, seeks to fill the vacancy being created by the retirement of Judge Steven Mock, who will step down in January after 24 years on the bench.

The Enterprise continues, “Yolo’s prosecuting attorneys and local defense attorneys are lining up to endorse her; it’s a remarkable feat to receive such levels of support from both sides of the aisle. Their faith in Beronio is a testament to the respect Yolo’s attorneys have for her intellect, her record of fairness and the knowledge that they’ll all receive equal treatment in her courtroom.”

“She received the support of more than 75 percent of members of the Yolo County Bar Association, despite the fact that there are three other candidates running on June 3,” the paper continues.

The Enterprise adds, “Beronio also has distinguished herself for her innovation. She restructured the misdemeanor court calendar to reduce the backlog of cases while improving the quality of service. Her model is recommended to other courts for improved efficiency.

“Juvenile law holds a special place in her heart. She has the distinction of presiding for nearly five years over juvenile law matters — a rigorous assignment typically reserved for Superior Court judges.”

“Juvenile court is a very, very hard assignment — it makes some of the other things we do pale in comparison for how intense the issues can become, because you’re talking about kids,” said Judge Timothy Fall. ”The judges here knew that she had what it takes.”

They continue, “Beronio also serves as the judge in the Every 15 Minutes program, which seeks to educate teenagers about the dangers of drinking and driving through a realistic scenario played out each spring at Yolo’s high school campuses. Her role is to handle the courtroom appearance of the “drunk” driver, a scene that is videotaped to show students the very real consequences of their actions.”

The endorsement continues, “Her calm demeanor, agile mind and extensive knowledge are mentioned time and again as skills needed on Yolo’s bench. We join those who know her best and recommend her election on June 3 as a Yolo Superior Court judge.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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8 Comments

  1. SODA

    My concern has always been her age; how long will she serve before retirement? Seems strange she has been a commissioner for 25 yrs and now is seeking higher office?

  2. John Baldry

    Judges often serve until ripe old age SODA. She will be 69 when her six-year term ends. It is also a concern that she has chosen not to address this issue, even though she has been specifically asked about it.

    Her campaign is pretty solid eidence of the power of the Yolo County judicial “machine.” It is pretty clear that she is Judge Rosenberg’s hand picked addition … one who will follow his dictates as the power player on the courts in Woodland. That doesn’t make her abad candidate, just a beholden one.

  3. tj

    Higher pay, higher payout in retirement benefits, easier work. Those would be obvious reasons for the 2 women.

    The 2 men appear much more dedicated, more intelligent, and are more honest.

    Rosenberg’s comment is funny: Debbie Davis told me some time ago that the Enterprise is successful because she knows what to print and what not to print, how to keep the local powers happy.

    Beronio not only doesn’t address the age issue, she uses a photo from her long lost youth.

  4. Davis Progressive

    when is someone going to poke holes in the enterprise endorsement? she has 75% of the bar because they are pressuring lawyers to support beronio. where are the documents that show that the public defender’s office refuses to work with her and authorize her to hear trials. where are the correspondence that shows her lack of patience and calmness with dealing with certain people before her. the description in the enterprise does not resemble the janene beronio that most of us know.

    1. DavisVoter

      When indeed? There have been vague grumblings on here about her (your comment is the most detailed I’ve seen), but she seems to be cruising to a first-round victory as the consensus candidate of an establishment to which most voters will defer. I’m somewhat concerned about this outcome after watching the Vanguard judicial forum.

      1. Davis Progressive

        it’s going to be hard for her to get 50% in june with four candidates. in 2006, reisig looked like he would cruise to an easy win given his endorsements but he only got 54% in a two person race. i know a number of people who are publicly endorsing beronio but not going to vote for her.

  5. Voter Who Cares

    Im amazed of all the so called Liberals in Yolo county supporting Beronio. Correct me if Im wrong but wasn’t she the Judge who sited Luis Guetterez thousands of dollars worth of parking tickets; over charging ridiculous fees to him and FARMWORKERS/people of color before he shot in the back of his head in Woodland, California. In fact amongst Latinos in the county she is not respected because of her endorsement from Sherriff Prieto. Im not sure if she even has the law credentials to even practice law as a judge at this level. I will not vote for BERONIO. I will NEVER forget Luis Guitterez, and the many people who have lost their families and lives from their children being imprisoned over simple cases. She is tied to Sherrif Prieto and the District Attorney Reisig. No Way!!!!

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