A Yolo Superior Court commissioner leads the pack in campaign contributions in the race for an open judicial seat, according to financial documents filed last month.
In campaign statements covering the period of Jan. 1 to March 17, Commissioner Janene Beronio reported $27,959 in monetary donations. Family-law attorney Fredrick Cohen received $15,450 in contributions during that same period, while Deputy Attorney General Larenda Delaini collected $5,630 and criminal defense attorney John P. Brennan took in $2,010.
All four are running for the seat being vacated by Judge Stephen Mock, who is retiring in January after 24 years on the bench. It is the county’s first race for an open judicial seat since 1990.
Much of Beronio’s monetary support came from fellow judges and local attorneys, including $5,000 donations each from the Judge Dave Rosenberg Committee, Mock and retired prosecutor Ann Hurd (Mock’s wife). Other top contributors included Judges Janet Gaard, Daniel Maguire and David Reed, and attorneys Raphael Moore and Steven Sabbadini, each of whom gave $1,000.
Cohen’s campaign received $5,000 from Barbara Cohen of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; $2,500 from Jessica Cohen of Stratford, Conn.; $750 from Walzer & Melcher LLP, a Woodland Hills family law practice; and $500 each from Whitaker & Associates of Sacramento, Sacramento developer Kenneth Fahn, the Oakland-based Northern California Carpenters union and attorneys Barbara DiFranza, Michael Jonsson and Mary Molinaro.
Delaini’s top donations included $1,000 from Sacramento attorney John Casey, $600 from local business owner Jose Goya and $500 from Sacramento City College professor Wade Thorpe.
Brennan received $1,000 from the Law Offices of Alin Cintean and $500 each from attorneys Jeremiah Van Etten and John Renwick.
The candidates also reported receiving loans to boost their campaign war chests, the largest amount being $100,000 reported by Cohen. Brennan has a loan balance of $40,000, while Beronio has $10,000 and Delaini $2,600.
Campaign-related expenditures for the latest reporting period totaled $36,623 for Brennan, $14,716 for Cohen, $14,240 for Beronio and $6,721 for Delaini.
The next financial disclosure statements are due on May 22. In the meantime, the four candidates are slated to face off Wednesday, April 9, at a forum sponsored by the Yolo County Bar Association. The event begins at noon in the atrium of the County Administration Building, 625 Court St. in Woodland.
— Reach Lauren Keene at email@example.com or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene