Gino Borgioli, a Morgan Hill Unified School District trustee who’s running against Santa Clara County Board of Education incumbent Claudia Rossi, alarmed local Dems and progressives by proclaiming admiration for Joe Arpaio, the ex-sheriff who was convicted of contempt of court for racially profiling people and was subsequently pardoned by President Donald Trump.
But people’s aversion to Borgioli goes beyond partisanship.
In 2015, the combative trustee was labeled one of the Morgan Hill school board’s “bad guys” and a “disruptor” by retired Merc columnist Scott Herhold in part for his involvement in a weird email scandal that led to the resignation of a fellow trustee. And now even some South Bay conservatives are miffed at the way he’s conducting his campaign overall and his endorsements in particular.
Sunnyvale Mayor Glenn Hendricks says he had no idea that Borgioli touted his endorsement on his campaign website until someone asked him why the head of a left-leaning, immigrant-rich South Bay city would support a school candidate who opposes female reproductive rights and supports Arpaio, Trump and their Fox News apologist Tucker Carlson.
Hendricks, a loyal Republican, was appalled that someone would use his name without consent. “I’m not supporting this person,” Hendricks tells Fly. “When someone told me that he said I said, ‘What do you meant I’m endorsing him?’ I do not support Arpaio and I’m pro-choice.”
To Hendricks, though, this is about more than anyone’s political views. “It’s about the ethics of claiming something that’s not true,” he says. “To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never even met him, and I’m a little more careful about who I endorse.”
Borgioli, however, maintains that Hendricks gave him explicit permission to use his name on the campaign website.
Fly reached out to others listed on Borgioli’s website—including county school board member Grace Mah and East Side Union High School District trustee J. Manuel Herrera—to find out if their endorsements are legit. Herrera says he supports Borgioli and considers him a friend; Mah also confirmed her support.