Will Waite Run for San Jose Mayor?

The 2014 mayoral race in San Jose is still two years away and already people seem bored by the potential candidates: Councilmembers Sam Liccardo and Madison Nguyen, and county Supervisor Dave Cortese. Rumors of a future Mayorluigi—a.k.a. Willow Glen Councilmember Pierluigi Oliverio—surfaced last month and everyone choked on their cannolis. Now we bring you the next potential “right” man for the job. Well, maybe not the right man, but Pat Waite is a Republican. The 54-year-old former VP of finance for Seagate, who lost a close race to Evergreen Councilmember Rose Herrera in 2008, says local business and community leaders have been approaching him in recent months to take on The Expectables. Even this last spring, Waite says, the South Bay Labor Council talked to him about again challenging Herrera in the primary. (Take a second and consider that: The SBLC actually approached a Republican to run with its support. Cindy Chavez must be rolling over in her grave.) His high-tech business background and lack of local government experience—aside from serving as a commissioner on a monitoring commission for the Santa Clara Valley Water District—could be a plus in the eyes of some voters. Waite could also provide a clean slate with public employees, many of whom, he says, have been unfairly “vilified” in recent years. While Republicans have generally been out of step with Bay Area voters on social issues, Waite, a Catholic, says he is more of a libertarian on hot topics like gay marriage and abortion. “I really don’t give a hoot what they do with their own lives as long as it’s not affecting my life,” he says, adding that when it comes to abortion he’s “not planning on having one” any time soon. “I don’t need to be butting my nose in people’s private lives, and I don’t think government should either,” Waite says. That comes in slight contrast to San Jose’s current mayor, Democrat Chuck Reed, who has opposed gay marriage when pressed. But according to Waite, that could be because Reed’s party affiliation is more “pragmatic” than precise.

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

22 Comments

  1. I know I can’t be the only one who is practically busting a gut at the hypocrisy and idiocy of the Cindy Chavez lead South Bay Labor Council going and begging Waite to run against Herrera in the last election since it is pretty common knowledge SBLC withheld their endorsement of Waite when he did run against Herrera and labeled him “anti-labor” 

    They must be pretty desperate if they’re begging and courting the people they oppossed.  But then again we already know they were pretty desperate by the way they backed Martinez-Roach who is a joke in the eastside political scene.

    Hey Cindy, why don’t you and the labor council try actually developing leaders and making actual gains with the people of district 5 & 8 before trying to shove unqualified and out of step candidates down our throats? 

    Waite doesn’t seem like a bad guy and if he runs should get a full vetting but man this is worth a laugh or two for today.  One more reason the Chavez camp is a joke.

  2. Liccardo, Nguyen, Cortese and Oliverio all would be more of the same lies and cover ups…ALL the city employees do not trust these people.  Since city workers are fleeing the city because of the corruption then maybe Mr. Waite could stop this.  LIke to hear if he thinks the police are lazy and a cancer, like Mr. Reed does?

    • She’s politically dead.  If she had any life in her she’d have been successful with the measures that hurt the city workers so much and unseating Herrera.  She lost her last campaign dismally because of her role with the Gonzalez fiasco.  She’s the only one that doesn’t know she’s DOA in San Jose politics.

  3. Whoever runs for mayor of San Jose has go to be very downtown centric and obsessed.  The city of Toronto is obsessed with its downtown, and there’s no reason for San Jose to be any different.  The city needs respect, and downtown is its living room-the first place that gives visitors impression of the city.  Plus, the city spent a fortune on downtown to let it slide and fail even further.  It’s time for the new candidate to pick the person for the job of picking up the pieces downtown and make thrive and be the best downtown there is.

    • Wrong!  Downtown has sucked enough money from the rest of San Jose.  It’s time for the neighborhoods to get their fair share.

      • I agree with s randall. Kamillions of dollars have already been spent on downtown SJ projects and downtown still flopped. It is dirty, smelly and seedy. They need to get the homeless out of there. The money now needs to be spent elsewhere.

        • Nope, I don’t.  I live in Los Gatos.  San Jose is the main and biggest city in Santa Clara county.  What affects downtown affects the whole community as a whole.  It’s just like a cancer.  When downtown was a pit back in 1970’s, the whole valley was affected.  It spread like a cancer.  The whole valley was boring and the crime rates were soaring downtown and through the city.  There was a rapist who terrorized the city by raping many women at SJ St. and the surrounding areas.  When they arrested him and asked him why.  He said, “Nobody cares if I did anything wrong in the downtown area because nobody seemed to care since it was irrelevent.”  He went on, “I’d go to the Redlight District on S. First Street and watch Porno films, and It seemed like a good idea to go out on a prowl in the deserted downtown area and try it out.”  We can never let that happen again.  My sister used to go to San Jose State in the 80’s, and I was worried.  You see, it affects all of us.  The only out of this financial mess from redevelopment is to overbuild the downtown area and make very, very dense.  Therefore, it’ll pay for itself. You need a ton of people living and working there in order for it to work.  Downtown must be forced to be successful and become the focus of civic pride and full of commerce.  if not, the city will fail as a community.  The next candidate needs to soley and focus on downtown and make it the best in the country.  we’ll all be safe and properous with alot to do and be proud of.

        • You’re right!  The only solution is to build the hell out of downtown like crazy until it gets way overcrowded.  Manhattanize it is the only way to get out of the fiscal mess.  The city should be fixated on it and make sure it’s thriving.  Density is the way out of this financial mess created the redevelopment.  It’s time to really pay attention to downtown and really overbuild it.  That’s how the city can get out of this budget mess, which downtown sustains itself by having an awful alot of people populating the downtown area.  Be obsessed and over- grow the downtown!  This also answers S. Randall claim.

    • City,

      Nobody I know gives a s**t about downtown. 95% of SJ residents are doing just fine in the neighborhoods – WSJ, Almaden, Burbank, Berryessa, etc.  Aside from politicians, developers and hookers (not mutually exclusive or collectively exhaustive), downtown SJ is a non-destination.

  4. > Finally, city employees are not inherently lazy, nor evil, nor a cancer. They are an integral part of the team that will help build the community that we want.

    Great.

    But what do you say to those city employees who say there is an “adversarial relationship” between the city and its employees?

    Doesn’t sound to me like they think of themselves as “an integral part of the team”.

    • Lou go back under your rock and come out on ground hog day and we will tell you to go back into your hole when SJ has got rid of all the clowns!

    • The sooner both sides understand that the relationship between an employer and it’s employees is, and should be, an adversarial one, the better off we’ll all be.
      This “team” concept is a bunch of new age BS that got us into this mess in the first place and we need to let go of it.

      BTW, Great user name Lou!

  5. I am pleased to know that there may be an alternative to the standard, liberal, big government, career politician type of candidate that is normally our only choice here in the political echo chamber that is Silicon Valley.

    Let’s hope that Mr. Waite, if he ever does become our mayor, extends his LIBERTARIAN leanings to the matter of “affordable housing” and understands that taxpayers should be LIBERATED from this government imposed burden that really only benefits developers, and ultimately destroys the quality of life in our community.

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