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Two judicial candidates expected to head to November ballot

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Two lawyers are moving onto the November ballot to vie for a coveted spot as one of San Francisco’s more than 50 Superior Court judges who determine the outcomes of civil and criminal trials.

Victor Hwang and Paul Henderson appear to have garnered the majority of votes Tuesday ahead of a third candidate, setting themselves up to go head-to-head in the next election.

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With votes for all 597 precincts counted in San Francisco, neither candidate appeared to have more than the 50 percent needed to be declared the winner before the November election.

“We might have to do this again,” Hwang said, acknowledging the likeliness of the runoff in November.

Hwang, a sitting police commissioner, had about 48 percent of the votes. His primary rival Henderson garnered almost 35 percent.

Attorney Sigrid Irias took in some 17 percent of the turnout.

Hwang, a former prosecutor and a defense lawyer, now works as the deputy director for the Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and was appointed to the Police Commission in April 2014.

Since January, Hwang has raised $80,619 and spent $55,458. His largest contributor, Eileen Hwang of San Francisco, gave $20,000.

Henderson, a native San Franciscan who grew up in the Bayview and has worked in The City’s legal system for decades, was formerly District Attorney Kamala Harris’ chief administrator and a prosecutor.

Since 2011, he has worked as the deputy chief of staff and public safety liaison in Lee’s administration. Henderson’s campaign had raised $88,561 and spent $41,202 by late May. His biggest donor is a George Hall from Sacramento who donated $10,000.

Irias was born and raised in San Francisco by a Nicaraguan immigrant and the daughter of a policeman. She has worked for more than two decades as a trial lawyer for Sedgwick LLP, an international law firm. She has also done pro bono work on immigration issues, among others.

As of late May her campaign had raised $34,894 since January and spent $19,333. Her largest donor, Christopher Seiwald of Alameda, gave $9,999.

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