A Quick Look at the 2014 San Jose Mayoral Campaign Trail

San Jose Inside takes a quick look at what some of the candidates for the 2014 mayor’s race in San Jose have been up to and what political insiders are saying.

Madison Nguyen
Madison Nguyen, the lone female running for mayor of San Jose in 2014, spent five days in South Korea last month. The goal: Organizing a real-life “Best of the Best” taekwando tournament. Kidding. Nguyen’s was part of coalition trip courtesy of the city of Suwon, which wants Korean Air to start flights in and out of San Jose. Earlier this year, All Nippon Airways (ANA) started direct flights to and from Tokyo, and Korean Air could be another good addition to SJC’s offerings. “What I sold them on is we have a huge Vietnamese population here,” Nguyen said. “If [passengers to Vietnam] can have a layover in Seoul and then head over to their final destination, that could be a huge market they can tap into.” City Hall sources say negotiations have been in the works for some time, but Nguyen says she’s confident a deal could be coming soon.

Dave Cortese
Word is county Supervisor Dave Cortese will announce his plans to run for mayor in the next three weeks, but some might have thought he was already running based on signage seen around town. Thirty banners were posted around the county advertising the recent “Day on the Bay” multicultural festival, held at Alviso Marina County Park. Considering Cortese’s name and title were written much larger than any other words, it looked like a little pre-branding was taking place. Cortese’s office said small business sponsors and donations paid a total of $2,700 for the signs. “We’ve been using the same banners for four years, adding a few each year,” said a spokesperson for Cortese. “We just change the date.”

Sam Liccardo
Sam Liccardo will have his official campaign kickoff Oct. 24 at downtown San Jose’s SP2 Communal Bar + Restaurant. Many of the 1980s old guard will be out in force, including Tom McEnery, a former San Jose mayor and San Pedro Square’s godfather. It should be a hell of a party, but don’t expect an open bar. Liccardo has a deal to offset some costs for food and venue based on how many people booze it up, meaning he’ll be paying out of pocket due to campaign fundraising restrictions from now until December.

Pierluigi Oliverio
San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio has been in a bit of stealth mode, but he reassures San Jose Inside that he still intends to run for mayor. Last week, he popped his head out to tell SJI readers that he opposes changing land-use zoning for fat cat developers. Apparently the sweetheart maneuverings continue behind the scenes.

Pete Constant
Pete Constant, the only Republican in the race, is still in as well, but there are whispers he might pull out if Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Matt Mahood decides not to renew his contract. Mahood continues to insist he’s happy, but his contract does expire at the end of this year. It’s no secret Constant has had an interest in the Chamber post in the past.


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