With Thousands of Ballots Still Uncounted, Some South Bay Races Remain Too Close to Call

A week out from Election Day, and the results remain too close to call in a number South Bay races. By press time Tuesday, Santa Clara County election officials had yet to count 15 percent of the ballots, which prevented some people from making their obligatory concession calls. In San Jose’s District 8 City Council race, Jimmy Nguyen finished election night with strong lead over Sylvia Arenas only to fall behind a day later. But the latest count put Nguyen out front again by 84 votes. Both candidates have been taking turns watching the vote-counters sort through the remaining 4,000 ballots in person. There’s another nail-biter in Santa Clara, where the challenger, veteran policeman Pat Nikolai, has been gaining on the city’s elected police Chief Michael Sellers. At last glance, the incumbent held a 14-vote lead over Nikolai, who has voiced criticism against the San Francisco 49ers—Santa Clara’s de facto business partner in running the Levi’s Stadium—and won endorsements from Mayor Lisa Gillmor and the city’s police union. The contest to succeed Assemblywoman Nora Campos in the 27th Assembly District started out neck and neck between San Jose Councilman Ash Kalra and former Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen. But on Friday, Nguyen sent her opponent a congratulatory text message conceding the race. The battle between the two Democrats was one of the priciest in the state. “She was very gracious,” says Kalra, whose victory makes him the first Indian-American elected to the state Legislature. “We just finished a grueling campaign, which gives us a common bond in a way only a very few people can have.” Sergio Jimenez, who will replace Karla in San Jose’s District 2 council seat, didn’t get a call from opponent Steve Brown. But the two ran into each other by chance on Sunday. “He stopped and said, ‘Congratulations, you saved me a phone call,’” Jimenez tells Fly. “He was friendly about it.” He got another congratulatory call from Dev Davis, who was elected to succeed 10-year Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio in District 6. Davis, a Stanford University researcher who held a 54-46 lead over parks advocate Helen Chapman, says she got a call from her opponent two days after the polls closed. “She left a very nice voicemail congratulating me and offering any assistance I might need,” Davis says. “I thanked her for the offer and said I'd likely be taking her up on it.”

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

3 Comments

  1. Thanks God we got rid of that fraud Madison Nguyen. We can’t afford to have more liars and back stabbers like her!!