Local Election

Madera County District Attorney David Linn concedes in bid for re-election

Candidates for Madera County District Attorney are shown here from left to right: Sally Orme Moreno, David Linn and Paul Hornick.
Candidates for Madera County District Attorney are shown here from left to right: Sally Orme Moreno, David Linn and Paul Hornick.

Madera County District Attorney David Linn's bid for re-election is over, as he trailed his two competitors by a large margin.

Linn conceded the election Wednesday, saying that while there still may be some provisional ballots uncounted, he did not think it would make a significant difference.

He congratulated his challengers Sally Orme Moreno and Paul Hornick, but he stopped short of saying whether he will endorse either one.

"At this point, I really don't know what I will do," Linn said. "All I know is that I will serve out the rest of my term."

Moreno and Hornick are likely headed to a run-off in the November general election, since neither appeared to have a bead on a majority vote.

"I am very happy with that and we are ready to take a little break and hit it hard for November," Moreno said.

Moreno, a senior deputy district attorney in Fresno County, had the most votes with 9,186 (as of Friday) or just over 45 percent. Hornick, a senior deputy district attorney under Linn, got 6,714 votes for just under 33 percent of the vote. Linn was at 4,486, roughly 22 percent.

Madera was a Voter's Choice Act county, meaning all voting was by mail or in person at central locations. The Madera County clerk's office still must process and count any vote-by-mail or provisional ballots turned in at polling places on Tuesday, as well as mailed ballots postmarked on or before Tuesday that were received by Friday.

Linn's campaign for another four-year term was marred by controversy. The Madera County Board of Supervisors censured Linn, a Vietnam veteran and longtime lawyer, last November..

In a report to the board, Linn was accused of workplace harassment, discrimination, and abuse. Linn has vehemently denied the charges and claims the board was retaliating against him for opening a corruption investigation against them. The investigation has been turned over to the Attorney General's office and is ongoing.

"The people vote for who they want to vote for," Linn said Tuesday night. "My only hope is that if I am not the next DA, the next DA will continue to bring transparency to county government."

Both of Linn's challengers seized on the board's censure, calling Linn a weak leader, unprofessional and lacking in the legal skills to be an effective prosecutor.

Both Hornick and Moreno received some heavy backing from law enforcement, including key endorsements from Madera County Sheriff Jay Varney and the Madera County Deputy Sheriff's Association. Hornick has been endorsed by the Madera Police Officers Association and Madera County Prosecutors Association.

Linn wasn't the only embattled DA in the central San Joaquin Valley. In neighboring Merced County, political newcomer Kimberly Helms Lewis routed incumbent Larry Morse II with about 66 percent of the vote to 34 percent for Morse. Helms Lewis announced her candidacy just weeks after the Merced Sun-Star reported allegations from three former prosecutors who said Morse inappropriately kissed a married subordinate employee and made sexual comments to women in the office. Morse denied any wrongdoing and said the allegations were incidents taken out of context.