Dave Cortese refuses to go gently into that good night. The county supervisor and San Jose mayoral candidate announced Wednesday, a day after the election, that he will not concede victory to Sam Liccardo due to the large number of votes still yet to be counted.
After releasing an individual statement saying as much Wednesday afternoon, Cortese and his wife, Pattie, followed up with an email to supporters, thanking them for their help in the campaign and noting that "the jury is still out" on final returns.
"Out of respect to them and the voters of San Jose, we are going to wait until we have conclusive results before making a final statement," the Corteses wrote. "Any attempts in the media to call the race beforehand does not respect the democratic process which ensures that every vote counts."
Cortese has a strong argument. San Jose Inside spoke with county Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey on Wednesday afternoon, and she estimated her office as still has 120,000 to 150,000 vote-by-mail ballots to go through, as well as 14,000 provisional ballots to check. Several local media outlets have pegged the number of outstanding ballots affecting the San Jose mayor's race at about 50,000 to 70,000—based on the math that San Jose makes up about half of the county's registered voters.
Below is the full statement from Dave and Pattie Cortese:
"The profound sense of gratitude we have for everyone who has been a part of this campaign is more than we can describe, but we'll try. We are greatly humbled by the hundreds of volunteers who took time from their busy lives to knock on doors, make phone calls, put up lawn signs or talk to their neighbors. We thank you for your tremendous efforts. Thank you to all the people who made financial contributions--some only able to spare a few dollars, which meant so much to us. Thank you to our wonderful campaign staff who often worked into the middle of the night. Thank you to all the working families, nurses, firefighters, cops, and teachers who were a part of this effort. Thank you to every community member who shared their input. Thank you to everyone who entrusted their vote to our shared vision of a community that works for everyone. Your faith in us is an honor and a responsibility we do not take lightly.
"As for the final outcome, the jury is still out. With less than 2,200 votes separating us from our opponent and tens of thousands of votes still to be counted, the race is still too close to call. This election is too important for everyone who has invested part of themselves into making our city a better place. Out of respect to them and the voters of San Jose, we are going to wait until we have conclusive results before making a final statement. Any attempts in the media to call the race beforehand does not respect the democratic process which ensures that every vote counts.
"So together, we wait. But we couldn't let this day pass without sharing our deep appreciation for all of you who gave of something of yourself to get us to this point."