Former Congressman Mike Honda is reportedly considering a run for local office. The 76-year-old Democrat told the Mercury News on Thursday that he’s “not saying no” to the idea of challenging San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in his re-election bid.
Honda served eight terms in the House representing Silicon Valley’s 17th Congressional District until 2016 when Stanford University professor and former Obama appointee Ro Khanna ousted him on the second try. Honda’s reputation took a hit when he became the subject of a congressional ethics investigation into claims that he used House staffers to work on his political campaign.
Though Honda historically counted on support from labor unions and the leftward wing of the Democratic Party, Khanna spent his inaugural term in office positioning himself as a stronger progressive than his predecessor.
In a contest with business-friendly Liccardo, however, Honda would be considered the more progressive candidate.
Though one other candidate—Quangminh Pham—filed paperwork to run against the mayor, the 2018 race has pretty much been a one-man show. Liccardo finished the opening fundraising period with about $545,000 in donations, giving him a considerable head start over Pham and any other potential challengers.