Preview of Santa Clara County Assessor Race: Two Challengers for Longtime Assessor Larry Stone

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone was elected to his position in 1994. He’s running for his seventh term.

But this time he’ll have two challengers.

Santa Clara Valley Water District Vice-Chair Gary Kremen announced earlier this year his interest in taking on Stone. We wrote about the possibility in March.

Since then, accountant Andrew Crockett has thrown his hat into the ring as well. Crockett used to be an assessor but is currently not active.

Stone is touting his years of experience and that he’s saved the County over $21 million.

Kremen is promising greater innovation and transparency. He’s been critical of Stone’s office management.

Crockett wants to use the Assessor’s office to make living in Santa Clara County more affordable and sustainable.

Most County political watchers believe this contest will be decided in a November runoff between Stone and Kremen. 

Then, it will be a debate about experience (Stone) versus change (Kremen).

Our sources were evenly split about whether Stone would be re-elected. He has better name identification than Kremen. But he’s also prone to political mistakes. 

In May, Stone was censured by the Silicon Valley Democratic Club for saying that “Gary Kremen is sucking the tit of the union.”

Stone also has mishandled the 49ers assessment appeal. He lost a big case to the 49ers and may have had a conflict of interest.

The County on behalf of Stone is suing to reverse the decision.  But if the 49ers win the case, this will be a major blow to Stone — and to taxpayers. The money lost in taxes will be ten times more than Stone has saved the County as Assessor.

This will be an interesting race (and court case) to watch.

Here are the Assessor candidates’ photos and websites:

Larry Stone

Garry Kremen

Andrew Crockett


  1. Wise comments from Burt and good rejoinder from Lawrence. Notwithstanding the comments in the article, Mr Stone’s tenure has been marked with steady and thoughtful care. It’s not easy dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars coming in. With that conservative approach, the county hasn’t seen much change. Voters must decide if now is the time for change.

  2. Robert, you make this way more complicated than it has to be.

    Just remember a few things.

    1. Gravity wins every time.
    2. The World is round.
    3. The sun will rise again.
    4. Don’t pull the trigger of a gun to see if it is loaded.
    5. If the NFL comes knocking on your Cities door, don’t answer the door.

    If you choose to do battle with anyone of these simple concepts eventually you will loose.

    It’s like one of the oldest joke in the world.
    How can you tell if an 49ers are lying to you?
    answer … Their lips are moving.

    So my question is who are the 49ers putting their money behind?

    Burt Field

    • Words of wisdom, Burt!
      My money says the 49ers will go
      with the tried and true Larry Stone.
      Wasn’t he on their BOD or some
      good ol boys club?
      Glad for this insight.
      Change is good!
      Like yesterday’s analysis.
      Let’s open the door and
      let Gary K in. Looks
      like a fun guy!


Leave a Reply