Thousands of provisional and mailed ballots have still not been counted two days since the polls closed, and the contest for San Jose’s Evergreen-area City Council seat is too close to call.
Jimmy Nguyen emerged as the frontrunner in the District 8 race Tuesday, but he has since fallen behind Sylvia Arenas by 56 votes.
“I’m really pleased, I’m happy,” Arenas said Thursday afternoon. “The results prove our hard work, and they’re inching favorably in my direction. I’m focused on making sure that all of these votes that we worked really hard for, that they actually count.”
If the D8 contenders fall within a half-percentage-point margin after all the provisional and mail-in ballots are counted, an automatic recount will be triggered. Nguyen won the endorsement of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce and Arenas got the backing of the South Bay Labor Council.
In District 6, which encompasses Willow Glen and the Rose Garden neighborhoods, Dev Davis held a solid 7-percentage-point lead over Helen Chapman. Davis, a Stanford University researcher and fiscal conservative, will replace Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio.
Oliverio, for his part, lost his bid for the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority against Dorsey Moore.
In District 2, labor-backed Sergio Jimenez finished 9 percentage points ahead of Steve Brown, the chamber’s preferred candidate. Jimenez will succeed Councilman Ash Kalra, another labor-friendly candidate who’s terming out of the south San Jose council seat.
In conceding the race, Brown thanked his higher power and commended his opponent for the victory. “First, I must thank God and my family for standing with me through this amazing experience,” he said. “It has strengthened me rather than tested my faith and commitment.”
Kalra, who ran against former Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen for Assemblywoman Nora Campos’ seat in the 27th District, appears to be headed for victory. As of Thursday, he claimed more than 52 percent of the vote. Both are Democrats, but Nguyen has more conservative positions on fiscal issues.
In Assembly District 24, which straddles north Santa Clara and south San Mateo counties, Palo Alto Councilman Marc Berman edged mediation attorney and fellow Democrat Vicki Veenker by a 7-percent margin. Berman was terming-out Assemblyman Rich Gordon’s pick and managed to cull support from both business and labor organizations.
District 25 Assemblyman Kansen Chu, a Democrat, trounced repeat challenger Bob Brunton, a Republican. As of Thursday, Chu took more than 74 percent of the votes. Democratic Assemblyman Evan Low held a similar lead in District 28 over GOP challenger Nicholas Sclavos.
State Senate incumbent Jim Beall crushed Assemblywoman Campos in District 15, which spans most of Santa Clara County, with 64 percent of voters in favor of his re-election.
In one of the more contentious races between two Democrats, attorney and perennial candidate Ro Khanna defeated Rep. Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District. As of Thursday, Khanna garnered close to 60 percent of the vote.
Rep. Anna Eshoo, the Democratic incumbent in the 18th Congressional District, coasted to victory with a 40-percentage-point lead over Republican pediatrician Richard Fox. As did Rep. Zoe Lofgren in the 19th Congressional District, where Republican Burt Lancaster lost by a landslide.
Panning out to the national stage, California voters elected state Attorney General Kamala Harris as the first new U.S. senator in 24 years. Her historic win over Loretta Sanchez makes Harris the first black politician to represent the California in the Senate.
Meanwhile, the city of Santa Clara overwhelmingly voted to keep Vice Mayor Teresa O’Neill and council members Debi Davis and Kathy Watanabe. All three women have stood up against the San Francisco 49ers franchise, which has been accused of illegally siphoning off public tax dollars to run the stadium.
A political action committee with suspected ties to the Niners helped get former Santa Clara Mayor Patty Mahan elected back to the council after a years-long break. Police Chief Mike Sellers held a 52-48 lead over challenger Pat Nikolai, another critic of 49ers management.