David Cohen, a 20-year North San Jose resident and 13-year trustee of the Berryessa Unified School District who has long been mulling a run for the District 4 City Council seat, has officially jumped into the 2020 race against Councilman Lan Diep.
Cohen, a 50-year-old father of two, says he’s reached a point where he’s willing to trade his career in chemical engineering for one of full-time public service.
“I was going to run for the seat at some point, and just had to figure out whether this was the proper time and how viable this would be,” he tells Fly.
That brings the number of challengers running against 35-year-old Diep to two—the other being employment rights attorney and San Jose Housing and Community Development Commissioner Huy Tran, 36, who announced his bid last month.
While Diep will no doubt garner support from the business camp, Tran may have to compete with Cohen for labor’s backing. Cohen’s years of service to the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, however, will make him the likely pick for the party’s endorsement in D4.
Cohen touted his experience as an elected official and his long residency in the Berryessa neighborhood, where he and his physician wife, Shelli Bodnar, raised their children.
Should he win election, Cohen says he’ll focus on making D4 a leader in local sustainability efforts, making sure that the city responsibly manages growth in its northernmost district and preparing San Jose for the next economic downturn.