Pegram Enters District 9 Race

Larry Pegram, president and co-founder of evangelical group Values Advocacy Council, today declared his candidacy for the District 9 seat on the San Jose City Council, which is being vacated by termed-out Judy Chirco. Pegram was a member of the City Council from 1974 to 1980. His most recent political venture was a short-lived run for the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District.

Robert Cortese, the second cousin of Santa Clara County Supervisor David Cortese, announced his intention to run for the District 9 seat last Friday. Pegram and Cortese will be running against Jim Cogan, who now works as Pete Constant’s chief of staff, as well as city redevelopment officer Don Rocha, financial consultant David Cueva, and Santa Clara University student Chad Greer.

Another new entry into the June 8 election is vintner Tom Kruse, who has entered the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors District 1 race to replace termed-out Don Gage. Kruse owns Thomas Kruse Winery in Gilroy.

Kruse will be going up against Teresa Alvarado, the daughter of former supervisor Blanca Alvarado, former San Jose Councilmember Forrest Williams, Gilroy Councilmember Peter Arellano and former Los Gatos Mayor Mike Wasserman. —Tommy Wright


  1. The sooner this zealot is defeated the better. He has offered nothing to D9 and we certainly don’t need his God Squad coming in to heal the potholes.

  2. Can’t tell the players without a program:

    1. Larry Pegram, president and co-founder of evangelical group Values Advocacy Council, member of the City Council from 1974 to 1980

    2. Robert Cortese, the second cousin of Santa Clara County Supervisor David Cortese

    3. Jim Cogan, who now works as Pete Constant’s chief of staff

    4. Don Rocha, city redevelopment officer

    5. David Cueva,  financial consultant

    6. Chad Greer,  Santa Clara University student

    I guess this is what happens to a society when unemployment gets too high and it becomes impossible to make an honest living.

    • While I’ve made up my mind to support Larry Pegram in June, this election will doubtless wind up as a run-off in November, and I’m at least curious to hear what Don Rocha has to say.  The other candidates?  Not so much.

      I have absolutely no interest in voting for some guy like Jim Cogan, who works as the chief of staff to a City Councilman in some other district.  When a farmer dies, the horse doesn’t inherit the farm, and outside exceptional circumstances, I don’t vote for political aides to hold office in their own right.  That’s how most of most the California Legislature got their start, and we see what a bang-up job they’ve done.

      And while I have little doubt that Robert Cortese is a cool guy and all, I’m not really sure being a professional karaoke DJ (or whatever the operative term is) in some downtown bar really qualifies him for the District 9 City Council seat.  He certainly wouldn’t be running if he didn’t have that fortuitous surname.  That’s a lot like trying to win an election based on the hope that the voters are too stupid to realize whom they are (or more precisely, are not) voting for.  I wish him the best in his other endeavours (I sing a fairly mean karaoke my own darn self, at Touchdown Tommy’s on Camden, just south of Blossom Hill), but no thanks.

      As for Mr. Cueva and Mr. Greer, without further information, I find it difficult to take their candidacies very seriously, but all in all, I’d be more inclined to vote for a self-described SCU student, than for some guy who’s claim to fame is that he’s a “financial consultant.”  Why not a used car salesman, or a party planner?

      • Kevin,
        I’m not sure why I’m being portrayed as *just* a karaoke DJ.  I’ve relayed this to the staff at the metro plenty of times, but maybe “KARAOKE DJ IS RUNNING FOR DISTRICT 9” is more exciting than “INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST IS RUNNING FOR DISTRICT 9”

        The karaoke thing is just my night job I use to make a little bit of extra money to pay my mortgage and put food on the table. It’s neither my chosen career or my true passion.  Despite having the fancy surname, I receive no benefit from it.  I don’t receive a monthly trust fund stipend like a Hilton.  I have to work 2 jobs.

        Computer science and FOSS is where it’s at for me.  The only reason I’ve stuck with it so long is it’s a fun job, but it still doesn’t stop me from having a day job.

        At some point I’ll be putting my resume up on .  Just to give you an idea though…

        I started off working in tech support a few years after HS.  I taught myself how to administer and build out Novell(ipx/spx)/Windows(netbui/wins)/TCP-IP networks.  I learned all aspects of it, from punching down cable to a patch panel to scripting and building basic UI tools.  I can build LAMP based websites with my eyes closed. I’ve brought so many servers online I’ve lost count, and have worked in a multitude of different types of companies when I worked at an IT outsourcing outfit.  I read on a daily basis and am a card carrying member of the EFF.

        I tend to look at the problems facing San Jose with a keen eye for optimization.  I love looking at how processes are done and figuring out how to make them better.

        Having a love for that sort of thing doesn’t come from karaoke, or IT.  It comes from within.  San Jose needs someone who can get in there, look at where the waste is in how things are being run, and effect change because they know how the actual business and infrastructure is built.

        I know you really like Pegram, I’m sure he has the same goals I do which is fixing the problems San Jose has.  I just think our approaches are different.

        • Fair enough.  You can blame the Metro for my being under the misimpression that karaoke was more then a sideline for you.  Not that I think there’s anything wrong with such a job (you should see some of the pathetic service gigs I feel forced to apply for these days, what with the state of the economy and all; a karaoke DJ would be like an aristocrat next to me in my next job…assuming I ever do manage to find one), its just when I think of political leadership for District 9, my mind doesn’t exactly jump to the downtown bar & club scene.  But you’ve made it clear the media hasn’t been entirely fair with respect to your entire resume, so I’ll put your name down next to Rocha’s as someone who’s input I’m interested in.  I’m pretty sure this thing is going to go to a run-off in November, and while I plan to vote for Larry Pegram in June, its not certain he’ll be one of the run-off candidates.

          (If I had to guess, I’d say its going to be a run-off between Jim Cogan and Someone Else, with my vote going to Someone Else)

          Oh, and yeah, I am the guy on Facebook, by the way.  Two of my siblings-in-law were already on your Friends list, and now I am too.

  3. Larry Pegram will make an excellent Council member for District 9. He has the experience and the passion to help Mayor Reed turn the city of San Jose around.

  4. My wife and I will definitely be voting for Larry Pegram.  He may not be very popular among snarky, ironic 20somethings who imagine that anyone who voted “Yes” on Proposition 8 is some sort of Nazi, but much like among the state electorate as a whole, I’m pretty sure the “Nazis” comprised an electoral majority in my District 9 neighbourhood in 2008, and quite possibly across the District as a whole.

    Larry Pegram will be a rare and valuable commodity on the San Jose City Council; an adult.

  5. Without reference to any specific candidate or election contest, how is it that voters are asked to select a winner on the basis of nothing more than what the candidates choose to say about themselves, what some lizards and weasels doing opposition research dig up, and what lazy, dull, and inattentive journalists choose to report?

    Why not, as a matter of law, REQUIRE candidates to provide the type of documentary information that they would be required to provide if interviewing for an executive position in corporate America?

    Things like:

    1. Birth certificate.
    2. Evidence of citizenship.
    3. Education history
    4. Employment history.
    5. SAT Scores, LSAT scores, GRE scores, etc.
    6. College transcripts
    7. Military service record
    8. Income tax returns
    9. Credit history and bankruptcies
    10. Police records and arrest history
    11. Lawsuits

    It’s long past time when voters should stop electing anonymous empty suits with good haircuts or botox faces, and actually KNOW something about the people they are asked to vote for.

    • I’ve heard worse ideas.  Its particularly maddening to try and get a feel for what local candidates are about, since their lack of formal partisan affiliation,* and the almost invariably quite limited and colourless media coverage, often leaves one with no real idea who any of them are.  I can honestly say I have never voted for any member of my local school district Board of Trustees with anything remotely approaching confidence that I was voting for the right candidate.  When I used to live in Campbell, I was reduced to voting for whichever candidate had the most Celtic-sounding surname for the City Council; the media never reported ANYTHING about candidates for the Campbell City Council – they were effectively anonymous.**

      *Which party, if any, a given candidate belongs to, is another piece of info that should be made formally available.

      **The internet has made that situation less bad than it used to be, in fairness.

  6. Jim Cogan is the only candidate for District 9 Council who has ever done anything for District 9.  He founded the Erikson Neighborhood Association, the fastest growing and most dynamic neighborhood association in San Jose.  Jim doesn’t just talk about improving District 9 like the other candidates.  He has taken decisive action to improve the lives of District 9 residents.  I’ll vote for Jim Cogan.

  7. Is this the same Larry Pegram who resigned from the San Jose City Council for shaking down Aspen Security in the 1980’s?  Maybe I have the wrong person.

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