This year marked the first time in 16 years a local superior court judge faced a re-election challenger. Ritchie's incompetence apparently trumped any advantage of her incumbency.
Ritchie, elected in 2008 to the open judicial seat, had tough time defending her reputation and stopped campaigning altogether more than a month before election day. In February, the Mercury News ran a story about the difficulties she was having performing her duties (in an interview with San Jose Inside, she called judgeship "a super-hard job for everyone"). The Merc's report prompted two attorneys to file for candidacy: Harris and defense attorney Annrae Angel.
Ritchie trailed Harris by 4 percentage points in the primary, but edged out Angel.
Leading up to the general election, she came under even more fire, failing to earn any notable endorsements—nothing from law enforcement and nothing from labor, even though she used to be a labor lawyer.
Harris is a 23-year veteran of the District Attorney's office, who's overseen everything from low-level misdemeanors to homicide cases. He's also worked in the U.S. Attorney's office. Here's a link to his bio.