Knies Bows out of Water District Race

Scott Knies seems to have adopted the strategy that less is more when it comes to unseating Joe Judge in the November election for a seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board. In a letter sent last week to supporters of his candidacy, Knies, the executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association, wrote that he has withdrawn from the race and will throw his support behind David Ginsborg, a deputy to County Assessor Larry Stone.

Knies wrote that Ginsborg “shares many of my positions on improving the district with an emphasis on progressive environmental practices and fiscal transparency.”

He added, “I am confident these key issues are just as important to David and he understands that leadership on the board will be essential in bringing about lasting change at the water district.”

Ginsborg called Knies’ endorsement “great news” and an honor, because of the Downtown Association exec’s “track record working in the community on water issues. He has a lot of accountability.

“We’ve narrowed the race down to three people,” Ginsborg continued. “And I think everybody agrees that the fewer candidates in there, the more likely we can defeat the incumbent.”

Ginborg campaign raised $44,368 through the first half of the year, while fellow challenger Barbara Keegan raised $2,865 through June 30. Both totals were reported in semi-annual disclosure forms with the county. Judge’s forms were not available online. A fourth person who pulled papers to run for the District 2 seat, yet appears unlikely to win if he does indeed pay the $3,300 fee to file a ballot statement, is Drew Spitzer, a recent graduate of San Jose State University and co-founder at Smart Money Retirement.

Below is the full letter from Knies explaining his decision to withdraw from the race:

“Friends, 
 
The best chance of electing a District 2 board member in November who will strengthen the efforts to reform the Santa Clara Valley Water District lies in limiting the field against the 26 year incumbent.  
 
It is through this lens, as one of four challengers to the downtown/Willow Glen/Santa Clara seat, I have decided to withdraw my candidacy and endorse my neighbor, David Ginsborg, who shares many of my positions on improving the district with an emphasis on progressive environmental practices and fiscal transparency.
 
I am grateful to the many people who encouraged me and pledged their support since I announced in February.  The water district issues I have raised around stream restoration, fairly priced water and parcel taxes that deliver what they promise resonated with voters.  I am confident these key issues are just as important to David and he understands that leadership on the board will be essential in bringing about lasting change at the water district.
 
Well, now it is no secret of my keen interest in water policy—and I will continue to stay involved, especially on matters related to the Guadalupe watershed and my beloved Los Gatos Creek.  
 
I must acknowledge the San Jose Downtown Association Board of Director’s trust and belief in me through their unwavering support of my water district bid.  And also a special thanks to my wife, Autumn, for her faith and reassurance, both on my decision to run, and to step aside.
 
One of my goals for considering this elected office was to draw more attention to the important role the water district plays in our local communities.  I ask you to stay involved, too, and remember to vote in November.
 
Yours very truly,
 
Scott Knies

Josh Koehn is the managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Koehn.

One Comment

  1. Good call Scott, just because you have a creek somewhere behind your house does not make you qualified to sit on the water district board.  Stick to getting downtown in order.  But then most on this board are not qualified either.  And a water tax will not be passed!