The Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee (DCC) finalized its endorsements for the June primary, giving three sole and two dual endorsements in San Jose’s five City Council races, according to DCC chair Steve Preminger.
Voting took place Thursday evening in the county building, and Paul Fong (District 1), Xavier Campos (District 5) and Don Rocha (District 9) all received the DCC’s exclusive backing, while Raul Peralez and Kathy Sutherland (District 3) as well as Maya Esparza and Buu Thai (District 7) had to settle for shared support.
The DCC already endorsed Dave Cortese's bid for mayor of San Jose by advancing that vote to February. The decision to expedite the mayoral endorsement ahead of the filing deadline led to criticism from other candidates.
Not all endorsements were unanimous—a couple, apparently, were a little contentious. Both District 1 and District 3 were pulled for discussion, according to an attendee, while the other races passed on consent. Some tension arose when the meeting was cut short due to time restrictions, Preminger said. Custodians for the county have to clean up after the meeting, which is held in the cafeteria, and not everyone got a chance to voice their full opinion.
“We had a lively discussion and unfortunately—although sometimes it’s fortunate—we have to be out of there by 8:30pm,” Preminger said. “It’s our agreement with the county.
“We just ran out of time, so it means a fuller meeting didn’t happen. That led to some frustration on some people’s part.”
The DCC's sole endorsement means candidates can publicly tout that support on their campaign materials and potentially receive financial support. The dual endorsement, however, means both candidates can claim backing. It also leaves the DCC some wiggle room after the primary.
“We make decisions on each race individually, but if we do a dual it pretty much means we give our name (in support),” Preminger said. “It also means we reserve the right to review our decision in the general (election in November).”
Campos' sole endorsement means the DCC will back his re-election campaign while the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) continues to investigate his 2010 campaign.
Preminger told San Jose Inside that the DCC endorsed all local school bond measures except for Los Gatos’ Measure A—only because no one brought the measure forward for a vote. The DCC also backed the library parcel tax Measure B.