Two more top-tier supporters of Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Clint Parish have abandoned his campaign for judge following this week's release of a deceptive mailer the prosecutor authorized against Superior Court Judge Dan Maguire.
Parish's boss, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, and Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, withdrew their support for Parish on Friday. They joined Yolo County Sheriff Ed Prieto, who withdrew his endorsement Tuesday.
"It's not only the type of piece, but what appears to be an absolute failure to confirm what was in the piece," Reisig said Friday. "I can't endorse that kind of candidate."
Reisig said he told Parish of his decision Thursday.
The mailer sought to tie Maguire to corporate fraud and bribery of Russian firms while he worked for a Colorado law firm. It also attacked Maguire's stint as a legal adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appointed Maguire to the Yolo County bench in 2010.
By noon Friday, Nielsen had also given notice that he, too, had pulled his endorsement.
"The content of a recent mailer, prepared by a consultant and sent out by the Parish campaign, is reprehensible, particularly for a judicial race, and I will not be associated with any such campaign," Nielsen said in a brief statement.
Parish could not be reached for comment Friday.
A veteran prosecutor in the District Attorney's Office, Parish has portrayed himself as the law-and-order candidate in the judge's race, framing the contest as a choice between an experienced criminal lawyer and a judicial appointee who lacks criminal trial experience.
Friday's news came at the end of a disastrous week for Parish's campaign, which started with the attack piece crafted by Placer County political operative Aaron F. Park landing in Yolo mailboxes Monday.
Prieto whose name was featured in the flier but who said he was never told of the ad pulled his support for Parish the following day, calling the mailer "totally inappropriate." Dave Rosenberg, Yolo County's presiding Superior Court judge, also condemned the mailer.
It got even worse for Parish on Wednesday, when he admitted he did not verify the mailer's claims that Maguire was involved in bribes. On Thursday, he fired Park and said there was no evidence that Maguire participated in bribes. "I regret putting that in the mailer," Parish said.
On Friday, Reisig and Nielsen walked away from his campaign.
"The judges in Yolo County are saddened by all of this," Rosenberg said. "It's an offense to us and to the community at large. We don't expect gutter politics in a judicial race. It's unusual to see that anywhere in California."
Reisig had criticized the ad but continued to support his deputy following the mailer's release, saying he wanted to gather more facts before making a decision. Soon, he'd seen enough.
"I endorsed (Parish) early on. He's a good lawyer, and I thought he'd make a good judge," Reisig said Friday. "But this mail piece was a major blunder politically. A candidacy that doesn't fact-check is counter to everything the DA stands for, and that's pursuing the truth."