Mahan Wins, Chavez Wishes Him ‘Best of luck in his two-year term’

San Jose Councilmember Matt Mahan will be the next mayor of San Jose.

His opponent, Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, announced today on social media that she had called Mahan today “to wish him the best of luck in his two-year term as mayor.”

The acknowledgement by Chavez of her defeat followed the report Tuesday night, with 90 percent of votes counted, that she trailed by 6,351 votes.

The unofficial, incomplete tally at 4:57pm Tuesday showed 123,436 votes (51.32%)  for Mahan, with 117,085 (48.68%) for Chavez. San Jose Inside had called the race for Mahan Tuesday after the vote count showed him with an insurmountable lead.

Chavez’s statement today stopped short of congratulating her opponent, but did say, “we were not victorious.”

In a statement released later in the day, Mahan was conciliatory, and reached out to Chavez supporters.

“I have just spoken with Supervisor Chavez and appreciate her most gracious concession in the true spirit of our robust democracy,” Mahan said in a statement. “I congratulate Supervisor Chavez on her strong campaign and I hope to work with her closely in the years ahead to address the challenges facing San Jose.”

“This has been a long and hard-fought campaign,”  he said. “But what unites us as a city is much more powerful than any divisions from a political contest. I want to send my gratitude to every single voter who cast a ballot for our campaign or for Supervisor Chavez. Your vote was thoughtfully cast and your voice will be heard.”

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who was not eligible for re-election and who endorsed Mahan, said in a statement:  "Mayor Mahan will be a collaborative, dynamic and thoughtful leader, who will ensure that our government works just as hard as the families we serve. It's no secret that I'm thrilled with Matt's election, because San José's future will be in good hands.”

The statement by Chavez today on Twitter ended one campaign, but, reading more like a campaign speech than a concession speech, it may have begun another.

Her pointed reference to Mahan’s two-year term fueled speculation that she might make a third bid for mayor in 2024, when her supervisor term ends. She did not respond to questions about her political future after 2024. Chavz, a former city council member, lost her first bid for mayor in 2006.

San Jose voters on Nov. 8 overwhelmingly approved, 58% to 42%, a change in the city charter to move mayoral elections to coincide with presidential election years, meaning Mahan will serve through 2024, when the next mayoral election will occur.

In her statement, Chavez also – without naming names – warned that 2022 elections, local as well as national, included  “candidates, their supporters and special interests showing a willingness to lie, distort, deceive and even dehumanize their opponents.”

In her tweet, Chavez said: “Thank you everyone for all you have done to assist my campaign for San Jose mayor over the past year. Though we were not victorious, our message will carry on and live within the work I take on over the next two years as your county supervisor."

Mahan’s statement praised the turnout, which appeared to be headed for the 60% range, and his campaign supporters..

"While this has been the longest period of vote counting in recent memory, we need to remember that we have also just seen the highest number of votes cast for mayor in our city’s history,” he said.

“We all want our city to be safe, to prosper, and our mission is to work together for common-sense solutions to end street homelessness, fight crime more effectively, make our city more affordable, clean up San Jose and hold ourselves as elected officials accountable for results. And I want to personally thank our incredible volunteers and the 40,000 San Jose citizens who joined our campaign for common sense. You built one of the most powerful grassroots campaigns that this city has ever seen.  It was your work that made this victory for common sense possible."

Chavez attached this statement to her tweet:

“Over the past year, our campaign brought together a broad coalition of support, including labor and business, environmentalists and innovators, educators and engineers, neighborhood leaders and elected officials – people representing every inch of San Jose and each of its diverse communities. We were all bound by the common goal of bringing new leadership to city hall with the capacity and experience to achieve results and restore a sense of hope and ambition of the city we can create together.

“And though we were not victorious, our message will carry on and live within the work I take on over the next two years as county supervisor – continuing to improve public safety, add more affordable housing and lift the homeless off our streets and out of our creeks and into permanent, supportive homes.

“As your county supervisor, I remain committed to the city I love and will continue to fight for our community, and all of those who want to live in a safer, more just and more equitable San Jose. My commitment to this city will never waiver.

“I have called Matt Mahan to wish him the best of luck in his two-year term as mayor. San Jose faces numerous challenges in the months and years ahead, requiring that we all work collaboratively with the entire City Council to reach meaningful and equitable solutions.

“We have seen worrying trends both nationally and locally, with candidates, their supporters and special interests showing a willingness to lie, distort, deceive and even dehumanize their opponents. Such behavior not only feeds voter skepticism, it threatens our democracy.

“I am proud to have run a campaign of ideas and ideals, and to have shared my vision with so many in our community – a vision of hope, progress,  inclusiveness and empowerment and of a future where San Jose truly serves as the cultural, political and economic capital of Silicon Valley.”

This story has been updated, with comments from Matt Mahan and Mayor Sam Liccardo.

Three decades of journalism experience, as a writer and editor with Gannett, Knight-Ridder and Lee newspapers, as a business journal editor and publisher and as a weekly newspaper editor in Scotts Valley and Gilroy; with the Weeklys group since 2017. Recipient of several first-place writing and editing awards, California News Publishers Association.

12 Comments

  1. Ms. Chavez’ statement sounds so mean and accusatory, just like her huge mailers with Mahan’s face on them. This is not a good way to encourage voters to choose her in future elections.

  2. I agree that Ms Chavez’ response is disappointing at a time when this city needs a unified vision. Just lost my vote if she runs again.

  3. Its sad to hear Chavez put blame on the other side for spending lies but yet she allowed her supporters & political groups like South Bay Labor Council who spend lies & false statements about those who may have different political views not just the Mayor race but also for Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1. I wish these careers political leader would lead by example & run a clean election.

  4. With her deliberate mention of Mahan’s two-year term, Chavez expressed in no uncertain terms her intention to challenge him again in 2024, and as a result has personified the definition of insanity. This provides more than enough reason to head her off at the primary next time.

  5. Just an observation,

    All I can say is do not expect any miracles, the constant scapegoating of certain individuals that are incapable to deal with the SEVERE problems that still exist.

    COVD is still a threat and the NYT just reported that vaccines are no longer going to be produced at the rate necessary to keep up.

    Interest rates are still going up, even though some reports say the next one will be only .5% that still will further impact property values of all kinds include intellectual,

    Look at the Twitter meltdown, look at the tech layoffs and office closures. Look at the depressing holiday outlook, companies are not even hiring temp workers.

    And Elizabeth Holmes getting sentenced today, illustrating that “FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT” and “FEAR OF MISSING OUT” are going to either be greatly impaired, or eliminated regarding the future of investment.

    Too much fraud in so many businesses. The correction of it is going to be VERY expensive.

    But all of the commenters here thing by just removing certain people from their work is going to make a MRACLE, no way, better get prepared

  6. Chavez’ true colors and attitude show through her statement.
    Leading up to the election, her paid supporters and PACs carried out the smearing campaign, attacking candidate Mahan with the same selfish, self-centered and deceptive portrayal of his background, experience and commitment to improving San Jose.

    Chavez has again chosen the Low Road versus the High Road,
    San Jose is lucky to not have elected a career politician that has built a career on actions that diminish, divide and disempower, it is too bad that Santa Clara county (and San Jose as a component of) will have to suffer through 2 more years of Cindy Chavez.

  7. Just an observation,

    Again, it just seems that people here want to get Angry because of the reality is that things are NOT going to improve in any way here. It is simply easier for these people to “hate” a person rather than deal with the reality of so many forces BEYOND the control of either local politicians or anyone else for that matter.

    Elizabeth Holmes just got 11 years in prison for the fraud she did. I think this is going to open a lot more prosecutions in this area because the fact was Theranos BURNED UP almost a $Billion in their fraud. WHERE DID THAT MONEY GO, IT IS GONE FOREVER.

    Too many businesses of all types in this area are doing the EXACT same thing.

    And on top of that, people who work here are going to discover that even if they move and get paid 25% less than here, the fact that the area is so difficult to live in due to cost of living, and the mentality of the working environments in these companies, they are going to leave in droves. Just look at Twitter, and what is happening with Alphabet, Meta, Cisco, and others.

    Boy I think you guys have to stop telling people “DON’T LOOK UP” and instead start looking up and get a grip on what’s happening.

    But i understand it is so much easier to pick and choose who or what you think is the problem, and thus you become a toolbox with only a hammer in it. You only can work on Nails or destroy something.

  8. Just an observation,

    Your opinion is not an observation.
    Repeatedly posting your opinion on topics unrelated to the article is not convincing.
    Your Covid fear-mongering is passé and amounted to nothing over the past 2 years.
    Shifting to new fear-mongering rants on topics you have no knowledge of makes you look even more ridiculous.

  9. Just an observation,

    Since OPERATION WARP SPEED is over, the vaccines are not going to be updated fast enough for the likely 1200 variants wee will have in March 2023.

    So we are back to square one or worse regarding Covid, it has so many changes now that there is NO WAY to vaccinate ourselves from constant waves of infection.

    The damages are already to severe to even calculate. As much a 9.5 Million peopled disabled, others never ever going top perform the same again. The current labor shortages WILL continue so even if the FED keeps increasing the rates, inflation is not controllable when you have such a radical drop of production with no ability to control demand on many kinds of markets, like energy, food, and medicine.

    This WILL force no business to be able to borrow money to pay workers, so that business model is DEAD. The world will have to earn as they go. And acquiring any kind of ROI above Inflation rates will NEVER occur again.

    I just saw a video about a Microsoft Azure engineer being laid off. That is the only growth part of the Microsoft Enterprise brand, they use it to establish fault tolerant management of Microsoft networks. The fact that those jobs are dropping means Microsoft is about to fall off a cliff. And that is nothing compared to Meta, Twitter, Alphabet, and others.

    MY GOD DID WE SCREW UP ON COVID

  10. COVID is still a threat? No it’s not – the regular viruses like the Flu and RSV are the real issue, and always have been. Keeping everyone locked away is the reason we see a rise in more severe cases because as long as humans lived, exposure to other humans is required for a strong immune system. The level of fear out there is irrational, and people like JAFO project their PTSD onto others, and should seek treatment.

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