Iranian American Runs for Superior Court Judge in San Mateo County California
San Francisco, CA - “She has been a leader in the law enforcement community for more than two decades as a tireless prosecutor and caring advocate for victims of violent crimes.” This was the ringing endorsement given to Deputy District Attorney Susan Irene Etezadi by the Redwood City Police Sergeants Association after she announced her candidacy for Superior Court Judge in San Mateo County. Backed by an extensive coalition of community leaders who support her law enforcement credentials, Etezadi has a real opportunity to become the first American of Iranian descent to win election to the San Mateo County Superior Court.
Etezadi grew up in a diverse cultural home. She is a first generation American of Iranian and Irish descent. She lived in Iran as a child, was raised Catholic and attended an international school where she was exposed to people from all around the world. “I grew-up with a respect and appreciation for people from varied cultures and backgrounds,” says Etezadi.
Etezadi received her bachelor’s degree from University of California, Davis and graduated from University of San Diego Law School in 1983. For the past twenty-one years, she has been a resident of San Mateo County and a prosecutor for the County. Etezadi has spent her entire professional career in the courtroom. She has prosecuted 71 jury trials to date, 16 of which were homicide cases. In addition, she has conducted thousands of miscellaneous hearings and court trials. “She has never lost a homicide case and holds one of the most impressive records in San Mateo County,” says campaign manager Rick Silver. “She is the most qualified candidate who is very familiar with general rules of evidence and court room procedures.”
A strong believer in public service and community involvement, Etezadi serves on the Board of the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County and is the Secretary for the Women Lawyers of San Mateo County. In addition, she serves on the faculty of the College of San Mateo, teaching criminal law classes at night. “Through my public service and community involvement, I have enjoyed meeting many wonderful and dedicated civil practitioners,” says Etezadi. “Public service is my life. I would like to continue in this tradition by serving my community as a San Mateo County Court Judge.”
To qualify for a judgeship to the Superior Court a person must have been a member of the State Bar for at least five years. Whenever a vacancy occurs between elections, the governor appoints someone to fill the office. Otherwise, candidates compete in nonpartisan races in June and November of even numbered years. If only one candidate runs in June, election is automatic without the need for a vote and the name is not even listed on the ballot. When two or more candidates run in June, anyone who gets more than 50% of the vote is declared elected. When no candidate gets over 50%, the top two compete in a run-off election in November.
Etezadi will face fellow Democrat and criminal defense attorney Lisa McGuire in the June elections. If elected, her top priorities include public safety and crime prevention as well as providing user-friendly access to the courts. “I have a tremendous respect for the law enforcement community and believe that public safety is paramount,” says Etezadi. “I also believe that a judge should be hard working, polite, fair and respectful. We have a diverse community and all our citizens are entitled to be treated equally without regard to their race, creed, sexual orientation, cultural or economic circumstances.”
With key endorsements from the Sheriff of San Mateo County, Police Chiefs and Police Officer Associations, Etezadi is clearly the law enforcement community’s choice in this judicial election. She plans on running a competitive race with a professionalized mailing campaign targeting registered voters and informing them about her impressive credentials and compelling life story.