San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed summoned a press conference Monday morning to announce his endorsement of council ally Sam Liccardo to succeed him.
In front of a throng of reporters outside Le Petit Trianon Theatre, located just a block from City Hall, the mayor said he backs Liccardo because he would continue his brand of fiscal reform and economic development.
Liccardo, a former prosecutor elected to the City Council in 2006, cleared the June primary for a runoff in November against Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese. Liccardo campaigned on a promise to spend smarter and rebuild the police force. Cortese billed himself the candidate of “change,” arguing that Reed’s pension reforms gutted the public safety ranks by chipping away at worker benefits.
The city needs sustainable financial policies, Liccardo told reporters after Reed announced his endorsement, “not benefits that may or may not be there in 20 years.”
Supporters who commented on Liccardo's Facebook page after the announcement seemed a little leery of the endorsement.
"Proud of the support," one wrote, "but, Sam, don't be compared to Chuck. Hold your own, have faith and make the changes. SJ is nothing to be proud of right now."
In the run-up to the primary, Liccardo managed to raise the most of any candidate in the race, thanks in large part to donations from Silicon Valley tech executives and business groups.
Cortese, whose main support comes from labor groups, aims to overturn many of Reed’s reform policies, including the bulk of the voter-approved Measure B.