Five weeks from Election Day, the San Jose mayor's race—expected to be the most expensive race in city history—is ramping up. Attack ads are in the mail, media attention is intensifying and candidates are squaring off in public debates.
Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who placed first in the June primary, wants to restore police staffing, which dropped from more than 1,400 to fewer than 900 street-ready officers since the Great Recession. Sam Liccardo, San Jose’s District 3 councilman, touts a platform of fiscal responsibility and upholding pension reforms championed by terming-out Mayor Chuck Reed.
The candidates share some similarities. Both are Democrats and hold similar views on the environment, transportation, housing and parks. Both are Italian, Bellarmine grads and attorneys. The contest pits Liccardo’s views about public spending against Cortese’s message of investing in public safety to reduce crime.
Their endorsements blazon different shades of Democrat. Liccardo has won support from four former mayors—Reed, Ron James, Susan Hammer and Tom McEnery—scores of CEOs and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Cortese is backed by every major public employee union in the region and five former San Jose police chiefs: Rob Davis, Lou Cobarruviaz, Tom Wheatley, Chris Moore and William Landsowne.
Mail ballots will be sent out Oct. 6 to some of the city’s 413,000 registered voters. In case readers would like to see the two candidates debate the issues in person, here’s a list of upcoming mayoral forums (feel free to add events in the comments section if we left any out):
WHEN: 7:30 to 8:30pm Oct. 1
WHERE: Roosevelt Community Center, 901 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
WHEN: 6:30 to 8:30pm Oct. 2
WHERE: Starlight Banquet Room, 680 Minnesota Ave., San Jose
HOST: Willow Glen Neighborhood Association, League of Women Voters, United Neighborhoods of Santa Clara County
WHEN: 6:30pm Oct. 6
WHERE: Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose
HOST: People Acting in Community Together (PACT), Rocketship
WHEN: 12pm Oct. 8
WHERE: Fourth Street Summit Center, Fairmont, 170 S. Market St., San Jose
HOST: Rotary Club
WHEN: 6 to 7:30pm Oct. 9
WHERE: Morris Dailey Auditorium, San Jose State University, 1 Washington Square, San Jose