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Big money flows in to Santa Clara County sheriff race

Kevin Jensen receives twice the contributions as Bob Jonsen; supporting organizations pour in nearly a half-million dollars

A David-versus-Goliath showdown has taken shape between the two contenders for Santa Clara County sheriff when it comes to financial backing, according to the state candidates' financial statements, which were disclosed on Sept. 29.

The two men running for Santa Clara County sheriff are, left, Robert "Bob" Jonsen and Kevin Jensen. Photos courtesy Bob Jonsen and Kevin Jensen.

Kevin Jensen, who worked for 37 years in the sheriff's department and retired as a captain in 2013, raised $238,598 from Jan. 1 through Oct. 4. Candidate Robert "Bob" Jonsen raised $109,249 from Jan. 1 through Sept. 29 in the race to replace outgoing Sheriff Laurie Smith on Nov. 8.

The nearly $130,000 difference in campaign coffers is only part of the support Jensen has received. Jensen has additional financial backing through the political action committees of multiple law enforcement and labor groups, which have added $492,000 to the campaign for Jensen, according to California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). That sum brings Jensen's total financial support to a whopping $730,598.

Jensen also accumulated $73,548 with an ending balance of $63,336 after expenses during the period from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2021, according to the FPPC filings.

The disparity between the two contenders comes largely from the sources of their support: Jensen has labor and law enforcement organizations on his side and a broad swath of individual donors in small business, law enforcement and other demographics. Notable supporters include John Hirokawa, retired undersheriff and a candidate for sheriff in 2018, Palo Alto Human Relations Commissioner Daryl Savage and former Palo Alto police chief Dennis Burns.

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Jonsen's donors include local Realtors, law enforcement and a wide array of individuals. Among his notable donors are developers William Reller and John McNellis, Palo Alto Council member Alison Cormack, Silicon Valley Bank founder and Palo Alto resident Roger Smith, Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Member Gary Kremen and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

In debates, Jonsen has sought to label his opponent as an "insider" who has the support of law enforcement unions, which, he claims, would only maintain the status quo. Jensen has said he received their support because he has a history of speaking truth to power in his head-to-head criticisms of Sheriff Smith, who faces corruption charges, and he understands the department's issues from frontline experience.

He brands Jonsen as an "outsider" without experience in the sheriff's office, although Jonsen has held three leadership positions as police chief in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and a southern California city.

Despite Jonsen's allegation that his "insider" opponent would favor the status quo in the Sheriff's Office, it is Jonsen who on Sept. 23 received a maximum $1,000 donation from the Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance, a group that gave tens of thousands of dollars to the 2018 reelection effort of Smith and has been implicated in the alleged "pay to play" scheme for concealed carry permits. When asked about the contribution, Jonsen said by email, "No contributor has any influence on my direction, my leadership or my cause."

From July 1 through Sept. 24, Jonsen's campaign raised $20,500. Year to date, he has raised $77,949 in cash and lent his campaign $30,000. He also received $1,300 in non-monetary donations. In total, he has raised $109,249 and has spent $101,691.69. He has a remaining balance of $17,598.96, according to his FPPC filings.

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Jensen has the support of the "Public Health & Safety Coalition of Santa Clara County Supporting Jensen for Sheriff 2022, sponsored by Law Enforcement and Labor Organizations." During the period from July 10 to Sept. 24, the group raised $200,000 — a total of $492,000 for the year to date ending Sept. 24.

The coalition includes the Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC (Political Action Committee), which has donated a total of $150,000 for the year to date, and the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers Association, with a donation of $188,000 to date. The County Employee Management Association also added $5,000 to the coalition's coffers, which spends the money to support Jensen but is independent of his own campaign fundraising and decision-making.

The coalition has spent $262,243 thus far on endorsement campaigns in support of Jensen, with an ending balance of $230,801, according to the FPPC filing.

Jensen's own campaign has spent $205,727 to date; he has a remaining balance of $70,292. He raised $43,908 ($46,860 in cash; $2,048 in non monetary donations) this period from July 1 through Sept. 29. To date, he has personally lent his campaign more than $29,000, according to his filings.

Sue Dremann
 
Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Big money flows in to Santa Clara County sheriff race

Kevin Jensen receives twice the contributions as Bob Jonsen; supporting organizations pour in nearly a half-million dollars

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Fri, Oct 7, 2022, 6:51 am

A David-versus-Goliath showdown has taken shape between the two contenders for Santa Clara County sheriff when it comes to financial backing, according to the state candidates' financial statements, which were disclosed on Sept. 29.

Kevin Jensen, who worked for 37 years in the sheriff's department and retired as a captain in 2013, raised $238,598 from Jan. 1 through Oct. 4. Candidate Robert "Bob" Jonsen raised $109,249 from Jan. 1 through Sept. 29 in the race to replace outgoing Sheriff Laurie Smith on Nov. 8.

The nearly $130,000 difference in campaign coffers is only part of the support Jensen has received. Jensen has additional financial backing through the political action committees of multiple law enforcement and labor groups, which have added $492,000 to the campaign for Jensen, according to California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC). That sum brings Jensen's total financial support to a whopping $730,598.

Jensen also accumulated $73,548 with an ending balance of $63,336 after expenses during the period from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2021, according to the FPPC filings.

The disparity between the two contenders comes largely from the sources of their support: Jensen has labor and law enforcement organizations on his side and a broad swath of individual donors in small business, law enforcement and other demographics. Notable supporters include John Hirokawa, retired undersheriff and a candidate for sheriff in 2018, Palo Alto Human Relations Commissioner Daryl Savage and former Palo Alto police chief Dennis Burns.

Jonsen's donors include local Realtors, law enforcement and a wide array of individuals. Among his notable donors are developers William Reller and John McNellis, Palo Alto Council member Alison Cormack, Silicon Valley Bank founder and Palo Alto resident Roger Smith, Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Member Gary Kremen and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian.

In debates, Jonsen has sought to label his opponent as an "insider" who has the support of law enforcement unions, which, he claims, would only maintain the status quo. Jensen has said he received their support because he has a history of speaking truth to power in his head-to-head criticisms of Sheriff Smith, who faces corruption charges, and he understands the department's issues from frontline experience.

He brands Jonsen as an "outsider" without experience in the sheriff's office, although Jonsen has held three leadership positions as police chief in Palo Alto, Menlo Park and a southern California city.

Despite Jonsen's allegation that his "insider" opponent would favor the status quo in the Sheriff's Office, it is Jonsen who on Sept. 23 received a maximum $1,000 donation from the Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance, a group that gave tens of thousands of dollars to the 2018 reelection effort of Smith and has been implicated in the alleged "pay to play" scheme for concealed carry permits. When asked about the contribution, Jonsen said by email, "No contributor has any influence on my direction, my leadership or my cause."

From July 1 through Sept. 24, Jonsen's campaign raised $20,500. Year to date, he has raised $77,949 in cash and lent his campaign $30,000. He also received $1,300 in non-monetary donations. In total, he has raised $109,249 and has spent $101,691.69. He has a remaining balance of $17,598.96, according to his FPPC filings.

Jensen has the support of the "Public Health & Safety Coalition of Santa Clara County Supporting Jensen for Sheriff 2022, sponsored by Law Enforcement and Labor Organizations." During the period from July 10 to Sept. 24, the group raised $200,000 — a total of $492,000 for the year to date ending Sept. 24.

The coalition includes the Deputy Sheriffs Association PAC (Political Action Committee), which has donated a total of $150,000 for the year to date, and the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers Association, with a donation of $188,000 to date. The County Employee Management Association also added $5,000 to the coalition's coffers, which spends the money to support Jensen but is independent of his own campaign fundraising and decision-making.

The coalition has spent $262,243 thus far on endorsement campaigns in support of Jensen, with an ending balance of $230,801, according to the FPPC filing.

Jensen's own campaign has spent $205,727 to date; he has a remaining balance of $70,292. He raised $43,908 ($46,860 in cash; $2,048 in non monetary donations) this period from July 1 through Sept. 29. To date, he has personally lent his campaign more than $29,000, according to his filings.

Comments

peppered
Registered user
Community Center
on Oct 7, 2022 at 10:52 am
peppered, Community Center
Registered user
on Oct 7, 2022 at 10:52 am
Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 8, 2022 at 6:49 pm
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 8, 2022 at 6:49 pm

Good. I hope Jensen is elected; will be very concerned if Jonsen is.


ALB
Registered user
College Terrace
on Oct 11, 2022 at 8:22 am
ALB, College Terrace
Registered user
on Oct 11, 2022 at 8:22 am

Listened to the forum and found Jensen to be smart and experienced. He is also endorsed by city council member Greer Stone. Jensen was the adult in the room compared to Jonsen. I will never forget the misguided embrace and push for encryption on the part of Jonsen. Our county needs Kevin Jensen elected Santa Clara County Sheriff.


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