Jim Beall on the Post-Election Warpath

Jim Beall neither forgives nor forgets. After soundly squashing Joe Coto in last November’s election, Silicon Valley’s state senator has gone scorched-earth on anyone who failed to show adequate fealty during the campaign. In mid-January, Beall ran his own slate in State Assmemblyman Paul Fong‘s district during the Democratic caucuses. Slate members serve as delegates at the Democratic Party’s convention and endorse candidates before an election. Beall’s slate move was seen as politically vindictive; no doubt it was motivated in part by Fong sitting out the Beall-Coto contest. Adding complexity, Campbell Mayor Evan Low had his own slate at the caucus, and it’s no secret that Low, who endorsed Coto and works for Fong, intends to run for his boss’ termed-out Assembly seat in 2014. In the end, Beall was able to split the delegates between his slate and Low’s, meaning the party’s endorsement battle will be fierce when election season kicks into high gear next year. Beall hasn’t stopped there, however. He’s now actively recruiting San Jose Councilmember Don Rocha and former Vice Mayor Judy Chirco to run for the seat. That might be why Rocha keeps talking about hanging it up after his first term, which would end in 2014. Another person putting out feelers for the seat is planning commissioner Norman Kline, who previously served as mayor of Saratoga. But if the race doesn’t sound crowded enough, there are also signs that San Jose Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio could join the fray. His Willow Glen fan club could snag him a sizeable chunk of the Assembly district’s voters.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

2 Comments

  1. “Beall’s slate move was seen as politically vindictive; no doubt it was motivated in part by Fong sitting out the Beall-Coto contest.”

    Mmmmm there’s some doubt.

    “Adding complexity, Campbell Mayor Evan Low had his own slate at the caucus, and it’s no secret that Low, who endorsed Coto and works for Fong, intends to run for his boss’ termed-out Assembly seat in 2014. In the end, Beall was able to split the delegates between his slate and Low’s, meaning the party’s endorsement battle will be fierce when election season kicks into high gear next year.”

    I still don’t get why it’s acceptable for Low to endorse candidates, but when Beall does it he’s suddenly “on the warpath”?

    I think this article and the previous one about Beall spin a political tale that is exciting, but pretty contrived.

    Also, didn’t Ken Yeager have plans to run for Fong’s seat in 2014? He seems like a better pick than Low. More experience and no terrible TEDx speeches on Youtube.