Updated at 9am Nov. 10.
San Jose City Councilmember Sylvia Arenas was holding on to a solid early lead over former councilmember Johnny Khamis for the Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1 in unofficial returns updated Wednesday afternoon.
As of 4:41pm Nov. 9, with 100% of the precincts reporting at least partial returns in the Board of Supervisors’ only contested seat, Arenas held a 3,488-vote lead over Khamis, slightly ahead of her first-day lead.
The elections office totals Nov. 9 showed Arenas with 52.84% of the vote (32,431), compared to 47.16% (28,943) for Khamis. In the first three hours of vote counting, Khamis had made slight gains, then lost ground the next day.
Elections officials estimated that 49% of ballots remained to be counted.
The seat is currently held by board chair Mike Wasserman, the lone Republican on the board and its most conservative member, who is not seeking re-election because of term limits.
Some observers see the District 1 seat as a key swing vote on the county board, with the board possibly tilting more progressive with an Arenas victory, and keeping a progressive/conservative split if Khamis prevails.
In a hard-fought five-person District 1 primary in June, Arenas was the top vote getter, with 20,262 votes, fewer than 1,500 ahead of Khamis, 28.6% to 26.6%. County school board member Claudia Rossi and Rich Constantine, both of Morgan Hill, split the next 27,500 votes. How their supporters lean will decide this election.
The other open board seat this year, in District 4, Supervisor Susan Ellenberg retains her seat because she was unopposed.
On the San Jose City Council, Arenas represents District 8, East San Jose/Evergreen and is a former school board member for the Evergreen Elementary School District.
Khamis is a former city council member, representing District 10 in southwest San Jose, and came in a distant 5th in the primary for the California State Senate’s 15th District. He is a former Republican who changed to No Party Preference during the presidency of Donald Trump.
In a realignment of the county supervisor districts following the 2020 census, Los Gatos was removed from District 1, which includes portions of San Jose and the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill.
Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1
Sylvia Arenas 52.7%
Johnny Khamis 47.3%