It’s a Boy! And Joanna Rauh Joins San Jose’s District 3 Council Race

Last we heard, Joanna Rauh was going to sit out the downtown city council race because she had a third child on the way. Good reason. But then the subject line “Joanna Rauh Launches Campaign for 3rd San Jose City Council District” appeared in our mailbox.

“I was having a baby at 9pm. I was revising the announcement from the delivery room,” she explained. She took the press call in post-partum, and shared news and photos of the newborn baby boy with The Fly.

Joanna Rauh's new son. Special to San Jose Inside.

Rauh, a resident of the Ryland Park (Vendome) neighborhood just north of downtown and near Japantown, joins a field that includes former council aide and community college district board member Omar Torres; the multidisciplinary Irene Smith, who’s educated in accounting, law and psychology; insurance agent and army vet Dennis Kyne; and IP attorney Elizabeth Chien-Hale.

The candidates must first run in the June 7 primary election. The last day to register to vote is May 23.

The District 3 seat is a virtual Petri dish for future mayors. Tom McEnery, Susan Hammer and Sam Liccardo all crawled out of the D3 sludge to become the city’s dear leader. Current rep Raul Peralez is a candidate for the same job.

Rauh is the assistant general counsel at Big Four accounting firm Deloitte, where she has worked for nine years.

Rauh’s website calls for safer playgrounds (yes!) and more accountability from the county on housing programs.

Joanna Rauh, before birth of her son. Special to San Jose Inside.

Her entry into the crowded field shakes up the race as she has the SJPOA endorsement in the smoker along with an endorsement from a politician whose name rhymes with “ham.”

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. She has an “endorsement” from Ham Hiccardo. A lawyer himself, who was told by the Supreme Court he could not keep his public emails private BUT CONTINUED TO DO SO!! He also failed to disclose a financial interest in property near the google site, while negotiating with google! Oh, and the lost google negotiating tapes – oh my! Violated is own curfew rules, campaign finance disclosure violations and more but my fingers tire of typing about all of Hiccardo’s misdeeds in SJ.

    If you want that endorsement, be careful what you ask. We are sick and tired of Hammy Hiccardo in San Jose!

  2. Oh, and she just moved into D3, typical carpetbagger of the same ilk as Siccardo. Tagged as an ‘up & coming progressive’, she will get all the big money (i.e. developers & corporate landlords) thrown her way in order to secure her vote when its needed.

    No thanks, we don’t need just another rebaked version of current, corrupt mayor. Vote for her and expect more of the same. And by the same, I mean take a stroll down to guadalupe river trail or coyote creek trail and you will know what I mean.

  3. Funny, she told neighbors that she was back in the race a week before her delivery. Using a baby as a political prop just makes me…….sad. And the name that rhymes with “ham” must be “scam”. We need honest leadership that is independent of the political machines.

  4. “Rauh is the assistant general counsel at Big Four accounting firm Deloitte, where she has worked for nine years.”

    Can’t we get someone, anyone, that isn’t egregiously wealthy to represent the people of San Jose? Someone that isn’t insulated from the everyday problems that afflict San Jose. She may be a nice person, but she has no idea what it’s like to be a current resident of this city.

  5. I’m thrilled to see this mother and strong independent woman run for District 3! We need fresh insights with new skill sets to make our city accountable. As a mother of a young child myself, I am reassured that my concerns are being represented. I can’t wait to see Joanna’s voice at the table.

  6. I was digging the candidate until they said “endorsed by Sam.”

    And, if Torres gets elected, we are in for a whole bundle of nonsense.

  7. She lives in the Vendome neighborhood, and goes to Ryland Park, which is in the heart of downtown San Jose – I have seen her there talking to residents. Try understanding what you’re talking about.

  8. It is truly wonderful that Joanna Rauh joins San Jose’s District 3 Council Race because she is an inspirational and powerful woman who can lead the city in the right direction. I can say that it is really important for any candidate to have a strong spirit and have a decent reputation. In my opinion, Joanna Rauh matches these characteristics and can make her own great contribution to the development of the city. Also, she has a rich experience and I think that she has the necessary luggage of knowledge which she can apply in this sphere, solving all significant problems. At least, I want to believe it and I really want a trustworthy honest candidate to take this position, making all necessary improvements.

  9. The issue I have with this Joanna Rauh is the fact that she has only lived here for about three years, settling in the Vendome neighborhood of D3. I’ve been told that neighbors don’t really know who she is and she has championed nothing to enhance her own neighborhood let alone D3 in the three years living in the area. The fact that she works for a huge firm that represents major companies and is telling people she is an “expert negotiator” between the non profits these huge corporate clients are funding leads me to believe the “negotiations” and what makes her an “expert” at negotionations is a little over stated. The non profits are developed by the corporate clients she works for to fund their special interests. That being said, it sounded to me that she simply provides the legal guidance needed for those doing the day to day operations to legally run the non profit programs. If I’m wrong please correct me. Not sure where real world conflict and collaboration falls in this scenario.

    Her political endorsement, I recently read by former mayor and developer Tom McEnery, is alarming as I can’t recall what he has done in years for D3 let alone his own neighborhood. What makes Tom McEnery know how to deal with the unhoused? Sam and the “rhymes with ham” made me giggle, Liccardo hasn’t actually produced much for our city in his 16 years in office and his endorsement just indicates a push for more of the same through his policies by a young unproven resident of D3 who wants to make a name for herself though the political machine without actually doing anything to get her feet wet prior to running. We need real life experience and a candidate who is ready to walk the walk and do the job that hasn’t been done in the last 8 years. I’ve seen in Irene Smith the talent and dedication, an incremental plan for the unhoused and endorsements from real genuine people. She has the skill set needed to bring positive changes for ALL D3 residents and enhance our quality of life. Irene Smith for D3, it’s Irene Smith’s leadership for me.

  10. I would not vote for anyone in a ‘staged’ campaign photograph- dressed in hospital garb while looking at a lap top computer; using a picture of a newborn baby as a prop and a photograph of a cow ready to calf just makes me want to puke.

    Omar Torres shouldn’t be voted into office for any reason.

    David S. Wall

  11. When I was working for a city council campaign in 2016, my candidate was facing against a candidate Omar Torres was supporting and actively campaigning for. The race was neck and neck and a recount took place. During the recount, Omar defined the word unprofessional. He got in the face of my team and my candidate red faced and said “you know you guys are going lose, right, right?!”. He looked like a rabid dog and had to be called off by his candidate. He continued to act emotionally immature throughout the remainder of the recount, calling us names, and making a stressful situation unnecessarily hostile. Its really too bad, as he was one of the people who came into my college class to recruit political interns which stemmed my interest in local politics. Unfortunately, he is not fit for office. He is emotionally immature, and his primary interest is political fame and power, not the well being of the residents and districts he hopes to represent. I don’t live in D3, but any choice is better than Omar.

  12. I would like to have a Joanna Rauh lawn sign.
    My husband, Robert Tolles, and I live on Losse Court and want to show our support. I’m willing to pick it up.

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