Frances Herbert—San Jose Vice Mayor Magdalena Carrasco’s chief of staff—celebrated early in the evening Tuesday after seeing that the District 5 incumbent would probably get her wish of avoiding the runoff.
“She’s just hoping to end this tonight,” Herbert said, taking a pause from setting up her laptop to refresh the election results tab on the Registrar of Voters website. “That’s why we’ve been out walking, talking, calling people, not taking anything for granted.”
By Wednesday morning, Carrasco held close to 69 percent of the vote, ending a re-election bid that pit her against bombastic neighborhood leader Danny Garza and political newcomer Jennifer Imhoff-Dousharm.
It was an easy win, but an emotionally taxing campaign, she noted. Carrasco’s critics followed the councilwoman, accused her of carpetbagging and drained her energy at a time when her family was mourning the loss of a loved one.
Thankfully, Herbert said, Carrasco can now refocus her energies on issues that matter: affordable housing, protecting victims of abuse and making sure the city’s hardscrabble East Side gets its fair share of public services.
Carrasco was still en route while her small but loyal cadre of supporters stuck her signature pink campaign signs on a strip of grass outside and along the window of Mountain Mike’s Pizza on Alum Rock Avenue.
“We picked this place because we don’t have a big team, and we wanted something a little laid back,” Herbert said.
Plus, it’s owned by tireless community activist and longtime Carrasco supporter Arun Singh. Throughout the night, a handful of other supporters filed in. Several brought their children to the family-friendly venue, where plaques of East Side high school sports teams adorn the walls.
Carrasco said she dedicated her campaign to supporters like Singh—but also to her mother, who died earlier this year after a prolonged battle with cancer.
“My mother loved San Jose,” she said, “and I am deeply committed to this city.”