Mail-in ballots go out next week, while Election Day is set for June 7.
Three council members term out this year in districts 2, 6 and 8, and two will vie for re-election in districts 4 and 10. Nowhere have more contenders emerged than in District 6, one of the most politically engaged communities in San Jose, where Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio is riding out the last leg of a nine-year tenure.
Eight candidates want to replace him.
- Labor-endorsed Erik Fong, a 35-year-old Apple manager and trustee of the Willow Glen Lions Club, raised nearly $44,000 for his campaign by last count, including a $20,000 personal loan.
- Helen Chapman, 56, a retired researcher and parks advocate endorsed by labor and the Sierra Club, garnered roughly the same. Her campaign reports show a little more than $43,000 raised, $16,000 of which she loaned herself.
- Dev Davis, a 37-year-old Stanford University researcher blessed by ex-Mayor Chuck Reed and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, counted close to $52,000 in her war chest after a kicking over a $20,000 loan to her own campaign.
- Thirty-eight-year-old Peter Allen, a political consultant and director of nonprofit Teatro Vision, claimed about $26,000 in donations and an endorsement from former Mayor Tom McEnery.
- Mayor Sam Liccardo’s pick is 58-year-old Norm Kline, a former Saratoga mayor and San Jose planning commissioner. He gifted his campaign $20,000 of his own money to bring the total to a little more than $35,000.
- Former Silicon Valley Bank paralegal Chris Roth, 35, sits on San Jose’s library and early education commission. He loaned himself $10,000 to bring his total to $29,000.
- Myron Von Raesfeld, a 55-year-old real estate agent endorsed by the Realtor Association, raised $35,000 with a $20,000 personal loan.
- Technology supervisor Ruben Navarro, 40, raised $9,000 to date, $6,000 of which came from a personal loan. He's the only candidate against the controversial Willow Glen Road diet.
Months ago, Oliverio began asking candidates how they would hypothetically vote on actual items discussed by the council each week. Some folks were miffed at the idea of the councilman doling out homework assignments. But most candidates have obliged. Those answers, for what they're worth, are available on the D6 website.
Coming up on May 11: a candidate forum on May 11 at at Westminster Presbyterian Church moderated by KQED reporter Beth Willon.
Like Tip O'Neill said "All politics is local" - looking forward to moderating Dist 6 SJ council race forum Weds.https://t.co/svhuWat5y7
— Beth Willon (@bethwillon) May 9, 2016
Residents can submit their own questions online for the final panel, which will be hosted by By Area News Group reporter Julia Baum and takes place on May 16 at Presentation High School.
Below is video of a D6 forum moderated by San Jose Inside’s own Josh Koehn. To read about it, here’s a summary of the event by Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold.
The other fields are decidedly smaller. In District 2, where Councilman Ash Kalra terms out, Sergio Jimenez, 39, holds the fundraising lead and support from the Sierra Club's Loma Prieta chapter. The investigator for the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office won support of labor and raised more than $30,000 by the end of March.
Lawyer Elias Portales, also 39, counted close to $20,000 in campaign donations. Retired sheriff’s sergeant Joe Lopez loaned himself $20,000 and raised only $1,600 beyond that. Meanwhile, Echelon Security owner Steve Brown loaned about half of the $19,000-plus in his campaign coffers.
District 4 is essentially a repeat of last year, when incumbent Manh Nguyen beat attorney Lan Diep in a special election to serve the rest of Kansen Chu’s council term after voters elected him to the state Assembly. Nguyen, 63, raked in nearly $35,000, only $1,000 of which he loaned himself. Diep, a 31-year-old Republican, raised roughly the same amount, $35,000, with a $2,000 personal loan.
Down in Evergreen’s District 8, five contenders have put their name in the race to replace lame-duck Vice Mayor Rose Herrera. One of Kalra’s policy aides, 32-year-old Joshua Barousse, won backing from the South Bay Labor Council and the Santa Clara County League of Conservation Voters while raising nearly $37,000 for his campaign.
He’s running against four other candidates, including business-backed Republican and former Seagate Technology financial exec Pat Waite, 58, who pulled ahead in fundraising with close to $57,000, including a $20,000 personal loan.
Herrera has endorsed Denise Belisle, 61, who owns Evergreen Coffee Company and also claims support from the business community. To date, Belisle has culled $34,000 in campaign donations and a $10,000 personal loan. Thirty-eight-year-old attorney Jimmy Nguyen, who lost to Herrera in 2012 and has switched from labor to a more pro-business stance, tallied $23,000 in campaign cash, including $10,000 he loaned himself. Evergreen School District trustee Sylvia Arenas raised a touch over $11,000 and earned support from Councilwoman Magdalena Carrasco.
In District 10, Councilman Johnny Khamis, 47, squares off against only one opponent, 59-year-old Michael Sodergren. The incumbent raised $46,000 and earned support from Mayor Liccardo and business groups.
Sodergren, a businessman born and raised in the South Bay, hasn’t raised any money and said he doesn’t plan to because he wants to make a point about the undue influence of money in politics.
This article has been updated.