Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran Drops Assembly Race for Re-Election

After announcing two separate bids for higher office, Milpitas Mayor Rich Tran has decided to bring it all back home and instead run for re-election.

Tran, 34, revealed in December that he would be running for Dave Cortese’s open seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. But once Assemblyman Kansen Chu (D-San Jose) jumped into that race, Tran decided to make a run for his open spot.

“I drove around the block and [realized that Milpitas] is the most important place for me to be,” Tran said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

The homegrown Milpitian handily won a second term last fall. The South Bay city sets its mayoral terms at two years and allows people to serve up to three consecutive terms.

Tran said he’s running for re-election to “ensure there is leadership for the residents.”

“It got to a point where the No. 1 and No. 2 leaders in Milpitas were looking to pursue a higher office,” Tran said, referring to Councilwoman Karina Dominguez, whom he appointed as vice mayor. “It’s a shame for the residents who put their faith into their leaders, and that was ultimately why I decided to remain in Milpitas.”

Dominguez announced last month that she would be running to replace Chu in the 25th Assembly District, which straddles the Tri-Valley and South Bay.

If re-elected, Tran said he’d be excited to finish a job that began when voters first elected him on a get-rid-of-the-riffraff platform in 2016. “We’re really at the midway point now and it’s exciting to take a quick look at our accomplishments and have even more excitement knowing that there’s more time to do even more in the community,” he said.

The Milpitas leader pointed to his deep love for the city, adding that he’s most likely the only mayor in Silicon Valley with his city tattooed on his body.

Tran wouldn’t speculate any other individuals that may throw their hat in the ring, but said he’s also staying put to ensure the city doesn’t, “go back to past politics.”

“There’s always the threat of former elected officials coming back and trying to bring Milpitas back to its past,” he said.

Like, perhaps, his predecessor Jose Esteves.

Another name being bandied about as a potential contender in the mayoral race is that of recently-elected Milpitas Unified School District Trustee Michael Tsai. While Tsai said Tuesday that he hasn’t made an official decision, he’s not ruling out a bid either.

“I certainly have ideas on what I want to happen in the city and how I want to see it if I run,” he said. “[But] officially there’s nothing. I only got elected last year and it feels like everyone is thinking about 2020.”

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase.

10 Comments

  1. Chu would be good. Is that loser Carrasco still in? Understand common law hubby Deleon is running for City Council in Los Angeles. Rats are prevalent there.

  2. My Mother taught me “bad grass never dies”. And so they keep running….. This is the best we can field???

    • Not sure. There are several San Jose Council who are doing a lot. But name one thing Carrasco has done. Not a single thing.

  3. It’s good for elected officials to be open to changing their mind, but leaders also have to make bold decisions without second-guessing themselves. Tran looks very indecisive. Worse than that, his explanation for backpedalling is to blame the nearest woman.

  4. I wish Dev Davis will move to Milpitas. She will address the homeless and crime epidemic, NOT. If you have rose gardens and trails, she will fit in.She is good at this type of photo ops .

  5. The reason why Chu is in is due to Labor. Reliable sources have told me that there is a growing disappointment in Carrasco. Her contributions at this point are about 2 grand from the Laborers. Carrasco has lost about 12 long time allies due to failed meetings with her. Most agree Carrasco has lost before she even began. One former staffer is about to back Chu. Then there is that pending lawsuit.

    • Look, Fox, you are drinking the Kool-Aid. Magdalena has enough on that Judas to send him packing, and no one in the office liked him anyway. Two, I know that business owner and heard all about her stupid threat to sue City Hall and Magdalena. She wasn’t even there at that meeting and when she heard of that staffer’s joke about Kansen, she chewed that person out. That sort of insult towards Kansen is totally off color and Magdalena does not condone those type of comments about Asian Americans. She never has. That person is just angry that Kevin got too personal, and Maggie has put up with it before. She is not getting support from people who gave her money because she is independent. All staffs have high turnover and Ms. Carrasco thinks the one question can be helped, as for the former one, he has his own agenda, can calling former contributors is his idea.

  6. Enough!

    This article is about the respect Tran is showing Kansen!

    Kansen earned it, and Tran is showing excellent respect, that is the story!

    This whole incident involving Magdalena and her friend dissing Kansen is well known.

    It happened at a community meeting, not at City Hall.

    Some gal who owns a liquor store, angry with s citation was slamming Carrasco while complaining to one her people. The liquor store owner had been cited many times. She sold the wrong six pack without checking I’d, we know about her.

    So the woman says Kansen would help her, and the staffer never made an ethnic crack. All that was said by this person was a question about Ksnsen’s honesty and intelligence and how Carrasco has plenty of dirt on Chu. Nothing about ethnicity, I was there. Just Kansen has issues and that Carrasco’s people already dug it up.

    So the lady gets mad. Carrasco runs over, just tells the person to shut up, and that there will be a time nd place to dump on Chu. Word he it, Kansen already flipped three big donors.

    But nothing insulting, so stop telling lies. Besides. Rich really admires Kansen.

  7. There are people I have heard who are runnng Supervisor

    Madison Nguyen
    Otto Lee
    Kansen Chu
    Magdalena Carrasco

    Madison helped me and my partner once, and is very nice person, very honest.

    I like what I read about Otto Lee.

    Kansen Chu once met my mom, and he was so very nice. Helped with her Medi Cal.

    All I know about Magdalena Carrasco is the Internet.

    Multiple FPPC fines, city investigations, bad relations with local businesses. That stuff about Chu seems somewhat fishy, so I really don’t pay attention to it, nor should anyone else. I have a sister who can confirm Carrasco is very down on both Lee and Madison for personal reasons.

    All these Fppc fines, why? Not good. I hope Otto Lee does run. Why should Carrasco go around bad mouthing for being his military service? Seems wrong.

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