Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
Get the facts before you vote.
Brought to you by
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
California State Library@CAStateLibrary
June 5, 2018 — California Primary Election
Invest in unbiased information

With your support, we can reach and inform more voters.

Donate now to spread the word.


San Luis Obispo County Superior CourtCandidate for Judge, Office 2

Photo of Hernaldo Baltodano

Hernaldo Baltodano

Superior Court Judge
48,252 votes (65.32%)Winning
Use tab to activate the candidate button. Use "return" to select this candidate. You can access your list by navigating to 'My Choices'.
For more in-depth information on this candidate, follow the links for each tab in this section. For most screenreaders, you can hit Return or Enter to enter a tab and read the content within.
Candidate has provided information.
Thank candidate for sharing their information on Voter's Edge.

My Top 3 Priorities

  • Further the administration and pursuit of justice.
  • Serve the judiciary and the people of California with a commitment to judicial ethics.
  • Embody the values of firmness, fairness, education and public service.



Profession:Judge of the San Luis Obispo Superior Court
Superior Court Judge, San Luis Obispo Count Superior Court (2017–current)
Judge, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court — Elected position (2017–current)
Founding Partner, Baltodano & Baltodano, LLP (2011–2017)
Senior Associate, Sanchez & Amador, LLP (2010–2011)
Senior Associate, Anderson, McPharlin & Conners, LLP (2010–2010)
Associate, ROBINS, KAPLAN, MILLER & CIRESI LLP (2006–2009)


University of California, Berkeley School of Law Juris Doctor, Law (2002)
University of California, Davis Bachelor of Arts, Sociology (1999)

Community Activities

Volunteer of the Year, Children's Rights Project (2009–2009)


Judge Hernaldo J. Baltodano brings a wealth of legal experience and a life-long commitment to justice and fairness as a Superior Court Judge for the County of San Luis Obispo.  He currently serves on the Court’s Criminal Team, and has presided over thousands of criminal proceedings since being appointed by Governor Brown after seven months of heavy local and state-wide vetting by attorneys, judges, retired judges, the State Bar, the Governor’s Office, and others. 

Judge Baltodano came to the bench after a distinguished 15-year legal career litigating complex civil cases throughout California in the area of employment law on behalf of individuals, companies, and unions.   Prior to taking the bench, Judge Baltodano and his attorney-wife cofounded Baltodano & Baltodano LLP, a San Luis Obispo-based law firm dedicated to prosecuting cases involving wage theft, discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination on behalf of a diverse range of clients – from hotel and agricultural workers and nurses to restaurant employees, mid-level executives, and professionals.  Judge Baltodano helped tens of thousands of clients on a contingency basis, regardless of ability to pay. 

Before opening his own law firm, Judge Baltodano practiced law at the national law firm of Robins Kaplan LLP, the highly respected civil rights firm of Hadsell Stormer & Renick LLP, and Sanchez & Amador, LLP, an employment defense firm.  As a defense lawyer, Judge Baltodano represented Fortune 100 and 500 corporations, and earned the respect of human resource personnel and in-house counsel for his practical, no-nonsense approach to employment issues.  Throughout his career as a litigator, Judge Baltodano gained significant courtroom experience in both state and federal courts throughout California, earning the respect of plaintiff and defense lawyers across the state.  Judge Baltodano was repeatedly recognized as one of the top attorneys in California. 


Judge Baltodano is driven by an unyielding work ethic, the highest regard for judicial ethics, and a commitment to the values of firmness, fairness, education, and public service. In 2009, Public Counsel, the nation’s largest public interest law firm, named him “Advocate of the Year” for his pro bono work on behalf of children with disabilities.  Under Judge Baltodano’s leadership, Baltodano & Baltodano LLP received the Access to Justice Advocate award from the San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation for its many years of contributions toward local legal services, education, and charitable giving.  Judge Baltodano served on the board of a non-profit organization that empowers victims of domestic violence, organized civic-minded field trips for school children, and was an expert panelist at educational programs for legal professionals and working families.  

Judge Baltodano earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis. He lives with his wife and two children in San Luis Obispo.  Judge Baltodano is grateful to serve as a Superior Court Judge and is humbled by the responsibility for making decisions that impact people’s lives. 

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • All San Luis Obispo County Judges

Organizations (1)

  • San Luis Obispo County Sworn Deputy Sheriffs Association

Elected Officials (3)

  • U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal, California's 24th District
  • Senator Bill Monning--Senate Majority Leader, 17th Senate District
  • Heidi Harmon--Mayor, City of San Luis Obispo

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

One of my highest duties as a Superior Court Judge is to maintain the confidence of those that I serve by avoiding the appearance of impropriety and potential conflicts of interest. It would not be appropriate for me to express my personal opinion on political issues.


Who else is running?

Please share this site to help others research their voting choices.