In the city of Santa Clara, incumbent Mayor Lisa Gillmor was assured of re-election to a second full four-year term, after further widening her lead over Councilmember Anthony Becker.
In incomplete, unofficial returns reported Thursday evening, the mayor led by 687 votes, out of 28,065 counted.
Gillmor released a victory statement Wednesday. With an estimated 2,500 votes not counted, Becker released a congratulatory statement today.
“I thank Santa Clarans who gave me their vote and sent a message that our city is not for sale,” Gillmor said in a statement, in reference to the approximately $2.5 million spent by the San Francisco 49ers to help elect Becker. “I am proud of our residents and hopeful about our future.”
Becker, who conceded Wednesday, said he today he hoped a divided council could work together after the divisive election campaign.
“I want to congratulate Mayor Gillmor on her election victory,” Becker said. “While this is not a mandate for either of us, her slim margin of victory is a victory. This poses a challenge for the Mayor, myself and the rest of the council because we are a city that is divided.”
“It is going to take Mayor Gillmor, myself and the rest of the council to unite our city and focus on the quality of life issues that affect us all,” he said. “It is time we put our people above the politics and that we abandon lies, misinformation and vendettas by focusing on the planning of not only the next 4 years but the next 40 years.
“Together we will provide better accountability, transparency and devotion to our community. Let this be a turning point and an opportunity to better not only ourselves but our community.”
Gillmor, in her statement, cautioned that “we can’t expect that by turning back a multi-million dollar negative campaign, everything will suddenly be positive – or by defeating a multi-billion-dollar special interest, the public interest will magically be served.”
“We must remain steadfast if we want a city council that’s free from corruption and a city hall that operates transparently and ethically,” she warned.
“As mayor, I will continue to make sure the [Levi's] stadium lives up to its promise, that we have quality city services and safe neighborhoods,” she said in the statement. “All these goals are possible if we work together to put our city’s interests first.”
With an estimated 92% of ballots cast, and fewer than an estimated 2,500 votes to be counted, Gilmor led with 14,376 votes (51.22%) to 13,689 for Becker (48.78%). The day after the Nov. 8 general election, Gillmor had led by just 53 votes.
The election was a re-match of 2018, when Gillmor defeated Becker with 74% of the vote.
With solid victories by Becker allies, Councilmember Raj Chahal – 62.6% over Larry McColloch, 37.4% – and Councilmember Karen Hardy – 64.3% over Christian Pellecchia, 35.7%, the 2022 election makes no changes in the 5-2 split in the Santa Clara City Council.
Becker’s first council term expires in 2024, when the terms of two other allies – Councilmembers Suds Jain and Kevin Park – also expire.
Gillmor returns to her seat with one ally, Councilmember Kathy Watanabe, whose term also expires in 2024.
Gillmor is a real estate broker and property manager who is daughter of real estate magnate and former mayor Gary Gillmor. She served 12 years on the council before being appointed mayor in 2016, and was first elected in 2018.
This story was updated at 11am Nov. 18 to include Anthony Becker's statement.