Assemblyman Kansen Chu Donates to Jim Canova’s Bid to Succeed Him in AD 25

Kansen Chu says he’ll refrain from endorsing anyone in the race to succeed him in the state Assembly—at least in the primary. But he came close on Friday by donating $500 to AD 25 candidate Jim Canova at his kickoff party.

It was a lively affair at Santa Clara Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill’s house, with a guest list that read like a “who’s who” of Mission City. Canova, a 27-year trustee of the Santa Clara Unified School District, celebrated alongside board colleague Mark Richardson, council members Kathy Watanabe, Debi Davis and Raj Chahal and Mayor Lisa Gillmor. MetroEd Superintendent Alyssa Lynch showed up to support Canova, who has promised to prioritize vocational training agencies like the one she leads.

China Stix catered a full spread as guests nibbled on cookies iced with Canova’s name and campaign logo. At Richardson’s behest, Gillmor and Watanabe engaged in a bidding war over the only glass of milk, driving the price up to $750.

Mayor Gillmor with her very expensive glass of milk.

Canova told Fly he was especially excited to have Assemblyman Chu and his wife Daisy Chu at the party. In the early ’90s, as a Teamsters truck driver, Canova said he used to deliver food to the Chus’ restaurant, Ocean Harbor. The couple toasting his run for higher office brought things full circle.

“They used to feed me on those deliveries,” Canova recalled while greeting guests at O’Neill’s front door. “I remember Daisy would bring out these wonderful meals.” In an emotional speech later that same night, Canova told the Chus, “It’s people like us who need to be elected.”

Chu sent local pols scrambling earlier this year when he announced that he’d eschew another term in the Assembly to instead try for for Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese’s seat in District 3.

Canova’s running in the March 2020 primary against former state policy aide Alex Lee, community organizer Natasha Gupta, Milpitas Councilwoman Carmen Montano, Santa Clara County education trustee Anna Song, Ann Kepner and lone-Republican-in-the-race Bob Brunton (who, incidentally, was fined $3,500 by the FPPC for faulty record-keeping during his 2014 run for the same seat).

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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.

2 Comments

  1. Would prefer just about anyone to the policy aide with no life experience and no qualifications other than the ambition to be an elected official.

  2. > community organizer Natasha Gupta,

    Every Thursday evening, I remind my neighbors to get their trash bins on the street for the garbage company to pick up in the morning.

    Can I claim to be a “community organizer”?

    I can set up an “exploratory committee” to collect money for a future campaign. Yes?

    I can have my campaign staff meetings at Morton’s Steakhouse. Yes?

    I can decide later what office I’m campaigning for. Yes?

    Hmmmm.

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