Joe Judge will raise his glass and take a final sip from the Santa Clara Valley Water District chalice at the end of this year. The District 2 board member, who has held the position for 26 years, surprised many Tuesday by announcing that he will retire when his term expires in December. This comes as good or bad news, depending on how much you care about water. Of the candidates in the District 2 race, David Ginsborg, Santa Clara County’s deputy assessor, leads fundraising totals with more than $44,000 raised for the November election. He has easily outpaced other candidates such as Barbara Keegan, a former water district engineer, and waiter-turned-college-grad-turned-entrepreneur Drew Spitzer (all in the last two years), both of whom pulled papers but have yet to pay the $3,300 fee for a ballot statement. One person who could have benefited from Judge’s departure from the race is Scott Knies, executive director of the San Jose Downtown Association. But in an email to supporters last week, Knies cited the need for fewer challengers against Judge to ensure the incumbent would be defeated and bowed out of the race. Knies, who admitted to others that he feels more comfortable selling San Jose and its projects than himself, then threw his support behind Ginsborg, a seasoned political animal after years serving alongside county taxman Larry Stone. But, according to the Registrar of Voters, there is still time for Knies and others to reconsider. If an incumbent does not file a ballot statement, county rules say that the deadline—which is Friday—must be extended by five days. This would make the new deadline Aug. 15.