Dem Central Committee Votes for Early Endorsement for San Jose Mayor’s Race

In a near-unanimous vote Thursday, the county’s Democratic Central Committee agreed to move its endorsement decision for the San Jose mayor’s race from April to February.

Moving the schedule up a couple months gives the party more time to mobilize a campaign behind its preferred candidate, who many presume to be county Supervisor Dave Cortese. The race to succeed Chuck Reed features four other Democrats on the San Jose City Council. A candidate must receive at least two-thirds of the vote for a sole endorsement. If that happns, the DCC will be able to spend an unlimited amount of money on campaign endeavors, such as mailers to any registered Democrats through “member-to-member” communications.

“Early endorsement might, in appropriate cases, enable our county party to get to work earlier on strategically important races in which the field of candidates is known and seems likely to remain settled through the close of filing,” DCC vice chair Bill James said Thursday. Since December, James has led a committee to consider the change in bylaws to allow for an early endorsement.

Candidate questionnaires are expected to be sent out in the next week or two and the DCC will meet Feb. 6 to vote on an endorsement. Previously, the committee could only endorse a candidate after the filing deadline, which is March 12 this year.

Among the Democrats running for mayor with Cortese are San Jose councilmembers Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo, Madison Nguyen and Pierluigi Oliverio. Councilman Pete Constant, a Republican, is also running.

Oliverio, who’s never gained the party’s endorsement despite being an elected member of the DCC, voted against the bylaws change Thursday.

“I’ve been elected twice [to the DCC],” he said. “Both times they chose to endorse someone else.”

The DCC did endorse Oliverio in 2007 while running in a special election for city council, before he held an elected office with the DCC.

Some members questioned whether it’s wise to endorse a candidate too early in the process, before the committee knows their true colors. James countered that the option of early endorsement doesn’t mean the DCC will endorse early every time.

“Elections are started earlier and being decided earlier,” he added.

Liccardo announced this week that he raised $512,000 in just the last three weeks of December, far surpassing other candidate totals, which may have heightened the sense of urgency. Cortese’s campaign said he raised $175,000 in December, while Nguyen reportedly tallied $169,000.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Newspaper. Email tips to jenni[email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.

10 Comments

    • This exactly why the SCCDP should not make the same mistake twice. Nobody on today’s city council should get any endorsement from anyone.  Look how far this city has declined in 7 years. Change is needed.

  1. “…Oliverio, who’s never gained the party’s endorsement despite being an elected member of the DCC, voted against the bylaws change Thursday.

    “I’ve been elected twice [to the DCC],” he said. “Both times they chose to endorse someone else.”

    The DCC did endorse Oliverio in 2007 while running in a special election for city council, before he held an elected office with the DCC…”

    This isn’t the first time The Honorable Pierluigi Oliverio has uttered something that the record shows simply isn’t true.

    (posted on the MW fb page to help generate interest in SJI which seems to have lost some poster’s interest of late…)

  2. A vote for any on the current council will only send San Jose back another decade.

    But then SJ voters are about as dumb as they get.  Keep saying you got 70% of the vote like measure B when only 20 % even bothered to vote.  You get what you voted for, now learn how to defend yourselves from the current arsonist now that Chuck is threatening to close a fire house if the county cuts funds.  Well, done Chuck, well done.

  3. A vote for any of Reeds hand puppets is a vote to escalate San Jose’s demise. this Mayor and council have severely crippled public safety here in San Jose , do you personally feel more safe or less safe? looks like things are only going to get worse until people start paying attention and educating themselves to the issues affecting San Jose.This Mayor ran on “Open Government” , but few have operated in the shadows as often or efficiently as Reed.  nothing this man does is as it seems . people need to question everything

  4. Labor is the Central Committee in San Jose and the Central Committee is Labor … the strings are all pulled from behind closed doors and most of the ‘elected’ representatives just follow their masters like the cattle they are.

    The whole ‘Democratic’ party in this area is controlled by a group that includes Cindy Chavez and a small cabal of other leaders, who use manipulation and strong arm tactics to achieve their end goals. Shirakawa was a part of this group until his fall from grace and they simply replaced him with the head of the whole shadowy group.

    It disgusts me that San Jose voters are either too preoccupied or apathetic to realize that this group constantly manipulates the political races in the area to serve a small minority of the county and keep the same ineffective, lame duck politicians in office time and time again. Wake up San Jose … wake up and smell the ashes.

    • > It disgusts me that San Jose voters are either too preoccupied or apathetic to realize that this group constantly manipulates the political races in the area to serve a small minority of the county and keep the same ineffective, lame duck politicians in office time and time again.

      Bottom line: this IS the essence of “democracy”.

      “democracy” is government by the stupidest, least attentive, most self-centered, and easiest manipulated fifty-one percent of the population.

      That’s why the founders wrote a constitution for a “Constitutional Republic” and NOT a “democracy”.

      The words “democracy” or “democrat” do not appear anywhere in the Constitution.

      It also explains why Democrats generally, and Obama specifically, have contempt for the Constitution.

      They sneakily talk about the Constitution as a “living document”, which means that when it lives in their house, it’s anything they want it to be, or nothing at all.

      • But of course…if they agree with YOU they are the most intelligent, enlightened and politically focused people on the planet.

        • I’m not certain if this was in reply to Lou’s comment or my own, but voters in Santa Clara County should be concerned when a party that represents a majority of the voting population (let’s be honest, the county is run by dems with reps being a minority voice in local politics), however the few in charge have decided that they know better than the many. Here is a small group that pushed through an early endorsement, not because one candidate is best, but because of political promises and favors that happened a year or two ago.

          It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing. It’s the fact that the leadership within the central committee is manipulating the rest of the membership to rush an endorsement of one candidate who is ‘owed’ this endorsement for his involvement in past elections *cough*District 8*cough* …

          Look closer and the whole thing stinks, it’s not about Democrats or Republicans, it’s about the manipulation of the larger group in order to keep a smaller group in power. And this smaller group isn’t willing to build bridges with new and emerging leaders, instead they demonize the majority of San Jose’s council and then deify decidedly mediocre politicians simply because they’re willing to toe the line and not ask questions about who is really benefiting from their initiatives.

          San Jose deserves better and Santa Clara county deserve better than the petty, boorish ‘leadership’ which seems to have taken control of the Democratic party in this area. Then again, maybe we should just admit, the truth is .. the game was rigged from the start.

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong but I read somewhere once that local offices are supposed to be neutral and not subject to party control.  IF the local democrats wish to control every election, every outcome, everything everywhere, they need to learn to pay their taxes correctly like the idiots and cowards they are.