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Tuesday November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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San Francisco County Superior CourtCandidate for Judge, Office 7

Photo of Paul Henderson

Paul Henderson

Prosecutor/Public Servant
116,937 votes (34.95%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Broader inclusion to the legal profession (for women and diverse students)
  • Increased diversity to the judiciary
  • Broader access to the court and legal services



Profession:Prosecutor/Public Servant
Deputy Chief of Staff, Public Safety, Mayors Office, City & County of San Francisco (2011–current)
Chief of Administration, San Francisco District Attorney's Officer (2007–2011)
Managing Attorney, Trial Division, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (2005–2007)
Trial Attorney, General Litigation, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (2004–2005)
Prosecutor, Narcotics Division, San Francisco District Attorney's Office (2002–2004)


Tulane University Juris Doctor (1993)
University of California, Los Angeles Bachelor of Arts (1990)


An experienced courtroom litigator and lifelong San Franciscan, Paul Henderson has served since 2011 as the Deputy Chief of Staff and Public Safety Liaison in Mayor Edwin Lee’s Administration. Paul serves as a principal adviser to the Mayor and is responsible for the development and implementation of policy across a broad range of issues affecting our City. Paul supports the management of various City departments, providing direct support to the Mayor with an emphasis on the criminal justice system working with local, State and Federal partners.

Prior to joining the Mayor’s office, Paul served as Chief of Administration for then District Attorney Kamala Harris, and trial prosecutor for the City of San Francisco, where he successfully handled every type of case in the criminal justice system, from nonviolent misdemeanors to serious felonies, including homicide. As Chief Administrator, Paul held the highest position ever held by an African-American male attorney at the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to his record of courtroom success as a seasoned prosecutor, Mr. Henderson also has years of criminal pro tem superior court judicial experience, and civil appellate experience as an appointed hearing officer.


In a state poll, Paul was twice voted as one of California’s “Super-Lawyers,” and has been recognised as one of the state’s most astute legal minds by California Lawyer magazine. He is a standing member of the national faculty for the U.S. Department of Justice and frequent speaker for the American Bar Association (ABA). Last summer, Paul was called to the White House to contribute to the emerging agenda on nationwide justice reforms.


Paul grew up blocks away from the San Francisco housing projects, where law enforcement was often seen as an adversary. He rejected the notion, however, that relationship between underserved communities and the justice system must be one of conflict. Through his success working to protect victims of violent crimes and representing communities without a voice in the courtroom, Mr. Henderson has made lasting impacts on the San Francisco Bay Area.

Paul attended San Francisco schools and earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA before obtaining his law degree at Tulane University, where he served as president of his class. Mr. Henderson is a passionate advocate for both civil rights and public safety. Presently Paul serves on the boards of several nonprofit agencies and was recently appointed to a prominent committee with the State Bar by the Board of Governors.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Attorney General Kamala Harris
  • Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
  • Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Organizations (5)

  • Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
  • San Francisco Democratic Party
  • Laborer Local 261
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • Firefighters Local 798

Elected Officials (4)

  • Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
  • Secretary of State Alex Padilla
  • Congressman Eric Swalwell

Who else is running?

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