SJ Council Candidate Confirms Her Return to Campaign Trail

It’s official. Jenny Higgins Bradanini is back on the campaign trail.

The Bay Area Women’s March president, who’s running for San Jose Councilman Johnny Khamis’ open District 10 seat, suspended her campaign last month after she struck and killed a pedestrian with her SUV in Los Gatos. But on Tuesday night, in an email addressed “Campaign Update,” Higgins Bradanini confirmed that she was moving forward with her political bid with “a heavy heart and reflection.”

“San Jose is in a time of change where the decisions made at City Council will shape the future of Silicon Valley,” Higgins Bradanini wrote. “Many residents are thriving, many more are being left behind and we are all worried about the sustainability of our days ahead. ... I would be honored to be the voice who makes our neighborhoods heard at City Hall. I will work toward real solutions to the issues that are important to us all.”

Source: Jenny Higgins Bradanini

On Dec. 16, the D10 hopeful was driving down the 900 block of Blossom Hill Road by an elementary school when she fatally struck 66-year-old Santa Cruz resident Timothy Starkey.

The victim in the crash had reportedly gone over to a friend’s house to hang Christmas lights and was retrieving something out of his parked car when the collision occurred, friends said. Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police have yet to give the public an update on the investigation.

Higgins Bradanini also addressed Starkey’s death in her recent email, thanking her family and friends for their support and saying she’d be unable to offer any details beyond her original statement.

Over the last few weeks, Higgins Bradanini has been spotted at a number of public events including local debates and the South Bay Labor Council’s primary election canvassing kickoff. The sightings drummed up speculation that she was back on the campaign trail, however, neither Higgins Bradanini nor her political consultant made any public indication about whether she’d resume her bid for the Almaden Valley seat.

Higgins Bradanini faces former Brigade CEO Matt Mahan and local businesswoman Helen Wang at the ballot box on March 3.

Grace Hase is a staff writer for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @grace_hase. Or, click here to sign up for text updates about what she’s working on.

46 Comments

  1. Whoa, this lady is made of tough stuff. Besides, she is just getting started; Tim had already lived a full life.

    • This is the most awful thing I have ever read on this forum. Not sure if you are serious or a troll trying to make Bradanini’s supporters look bad, Mike, but either way, imagine being one of Tim’s family members and reading your comment. A 66-year-old man could have potentially lived another 25 years. We have no idea how much fuller his life would have been if it had not been cut short. For you to literally excuse his death by saying that he had lived long enough is such a disgusting, terrible comment, and for your to praise Bradanini as “tough” for being able to move past his death is not much better.

      • It’s always amazing that some people cannot detect satire when it’s right in front of their face.

        • The lowest form of humor.
          It has no place here in a discussion of the death of a person.
          This is not humorous!

  2. http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2019/07/17/san-jose-council-candidates-stolen-car-allegedly-used-in-gang-related-drive-by/

    “It’s crazy,” she says. “I was looking around going, ‘Wait, did I let someone borrow my car? Did I park it somewhere and don’t remember?’”

    For Higgins Bradanini, the whole days-long ordeal shook her to the core. “My first reaction was disbelief, not because I see my neighborhood as immune, but because you don’t want to think it can be true, and we all keep so much of our lives in our vehicles,” she says.

    “I feel terrible that someone may have been harmed,” she adds, “but I’m motivated to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

  3. I endorse Matt Mahan, because he’s never killed anyone by driving recklessly and cutting them in half. Furthermore if he had, he’d probably be a decent human being by dropping out, return the campaign money to the campaign contributors, and ask them to donate that money to Starkey’s family.

    Anyone still supporting Brandini at this point fails at the basic human emotion of empathy.

  4. Something else to throw out here,

    Keep an eye on who’s still endorsing her. If they don’t publicly rescind their endorsements then they don’t deserve to be re-elected to anything either.

  5. One last one, still waiting on moderation for my other two comments. Here’s a list of her endorsers.

    Fiona Ma, CA State Treasurer
    Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Supervisor
    Dave Cortese, Santa Clara County Supervisor
    Ash Kalra, CA Assemblymember
    Paul Fong, Fmr. CA Assemblymember
    Sally Lieber, Fmr. Assemblymember
    Sergio Jimenez, San José Councilmember
    Raul Peralez, San José Councilmember
    Maya Esparza, San José Councilmember
    Sylvia Arenas, San José Councilmember
    Don Rocha, Fmr. San José Councilmember
    Rich Constantine, Morgan Hill Mayor
    Karina Dominguez, Milpitas Councilmember
    Yvonne Martinez Beltran, Morgan Hill Councilmember
    Nancy Smith, Sunnyvale Vice Mayor
    Aisha Wahab, Hayward Councilmember
    Shelly Masur, Redwood City Councilmember
    Claudia Rossi, Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee & President
    Teresa Castellanos, San José Unified School Board Trustee
    Carla Collins, San José Unified School Board Trustee
    Brian Wheatley, San José Unified School Board Trustee
    Pattie Cortese, East Side Union High School District Trustee
    Frank Biehl, Mt. Pleasant School Board Trustee
    Adrienne Grey, West Valley CC Board Trustee
    Huy Tran, Fmr. San José Housing Commissioner


    San José Teachers Association
    Santa Clara County Democratic Party
    DAWN, Democratic Activists for Women Now
    Avalanche Democratic Club of Silicon Valley
    Silicon Valley Democratic Club
    South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council

    • Robert Cortese, on her endorsement’ list, you added all those that fail on the basic emotion of empathy! Talk about craziness and snobby and this woman is all that. I’m voting for the dude too and any republican against any of those on the list, and Biden.

      • Nah Tom, the people on that list do not have control over her page. We do have to give then a reasonable amount of time to rescind their endorsements. I’d say that if we don’t see people publically rescinding by 2/7/2020 then we can make that argument.

    • SBLC is like the Mafia. No one takes you seriously until you kill someone to prove your bona fides.

    • > Higgins Bradanini faces former Brigade CEO Matt Mahan and local businesswoman Helen Wang at the ballot box on March 3.

      Maybe I’ve been marinated in Bay Area Democrat politics for too long, but I’m inclined to vote for the woman of color.

      I’m wondering if the two white privileged Democrats in the race would likewise be inclined to do the right thing.

    • Teachers, their unions, and school board trustees have systematically destroyed public education in California, and have virtually brainwashed students to oppose most of what made this country great. All efforts to hold accountable those who have led California education to near the bottom of all US states are thwarted by the above groups. That is why I will not vote for a candidate at any level who has endorsements from those groups.

  6. I can only wonder whether she is mentally impaired or lacking any kind of moral compass. In either scenario or any other, her decision strikes me as grotesque.

    To risk irreparably sullying one’s reputation for the rest of one’s life over something so minor as a city council seat is breathtakingly poor judgment, if one is of sound mind to begin with.

    I’m again reminded of Sir Robert Bolt’s screenplay for A Man for All Seasons, which won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1966:

    AN ACTOR — “Sir Richard is appointed Attorney General for Wales.

    THOMAS MORE — “For Wales.

    “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world.

    “But for Wales.”

    • Not Afraid of the future, I totally agree with your first two sentences. Those were my thoughts when I read this. Something is really fishy with this woman and those supporting her. It is shocking and sinister how she feels she can represent anyone when it is clear she is not even able to represent herself. I totally doubt her mental state and judgement.

  7. Higgins Bradanini would be well advised to remain in the dark shadows of obscurity until all her legal matters are resolved.

    ” Higgins Bradanini confirmed that she was moving forward with her political bid with “a heavy heart and reflection.””
    And to use this statement as a prelude to return to the campaign fray?

    Invoking the “Heavy heart and reflection” defense to resume a political campaign after killing someone comes with a high degree of risk. Especially, if you are also a defendant in a civil “wrongful death case.”

    A defendant’s disingenuous, contrite acts of a penitent are easily detected by a competent Plaintiff’s Attorney.

    David S. Wall

  8. She was instrumental in the crusade to recall Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky for following the probation department’s recommendation in a highly publicized criminal case. Judge Persky did nothing wrong. She apparently has a different standard for herself in judging a person’s fitness for public office.

    Robert Cortese, thank you for that list of her endorsers. Will any of them be withdrawing their endorsements?

    • I disagree with you on Persky. That judge gave the Stanford rapist a lenient sentence minority rapists do not get. I supported the recall of Persky not Brandinini.

      • Technically* the swimmer did not rape the drunk lady, so he was not subject to the penalties for rape. The legislature fixed that after the fact, however.

        *I don’t want to go over the legal technicalities.

        • Me either, he is a rapist to me. For that I voted yes to recall judge Persky. Taking advantage of an unconscious person is the lowest of decency. PERSKY was not lenient with the regular perpetrator of sexual crimes. No prior criminal history, under the influence not excuse for a crime. I am sure Ms. Brandinini would love to have Persky as judge now she is friend with Cindy Chavez, Don Rocha, and Dave Cortese.

          • Tom, you are wrong about Persky – first of all, Persky always followed probation recommendations – he did not sentence minorities more harshly – the most famous case the pro-recall people came uip with was Raul Ramirez – but Ramirez, who may have gotten a harsh sentence, was sentenced pursuant to a plea bargain where Persky had no choice but to approve the negotiated sentence. The claim Persky was biased was a huge lie told by the leader of the recall – but we were talking about Jenny Higgins – as part of the recall committee, she approved the lies told (in that case by anonymous sources, which the news media agreed to keep anonymous as who wants such huge lies attributed to oneself? Sad) so HIggins herself is a huge liar. She signed on to an extremely dishonest campaign, and that alone is reason not to vote for her ever again. I note, she does not mention her part in the recall in her campaign literature – another reason to not vote for her. And the last one – I do not know the other candidates, but she is not really mature enough to be an elected official – I mean, obviously we have many people who are not mature in office, but still we can do better, I hope. Higgins is kind of an angry cheerleader type, isn’t she? I call her the Angry Cheerleader from Chico State (yes, she really went to Chico State, another thing she tries to hide)

      • The defendant in the Persky case was not convicted of rape.
        Do you have statistics to support your statement? Please post them here so we can see them.

  9. I’m really sure someone from the wealthy side of SJ really cares about the people on the poor side of SJ!

    • Me too Native man, but that is not Brandinini or those on Robert’s CORTESE list. Those just care about being elected!

    • > I’m really sure someone from the wealthy side of SJ really cares about the people on the poor side of SJ!

      The people on “the poor side of SJI” need to figure out how to become “unpoor”.

      Maybe the reason they’re poor is that they’ve been listening to the wrong people all of their lives.

      Hint: if you’re interested in not being poor, stop listening to “experts” in poverty, and start listening to people who know how to be prosperous.

  10. I don’t yet know whether I’ll vote for her, but I have to admire her fortitude. If it had been me, even if I was blameless I would probably be so depressed I would withdraw from public life and move someplace where no one knows me. The fact that the investigation seems to be going nowhere suggests to me that the matter isn’t quite cut and dried. There are some people here who want you to believe they have some “inside” information that is not known by the public. But she has not been found liable for anything yet. I’ll wait to hear what the authorities have to say.

    • > I’ll wait to hear what the authorities have to say.

      How long are you willing to wait?

      10 days? two weeks? a month? six months? a year?

      If you’re willing to wait 20 years, the investigators could begin their investigation and then retire without ever having to say anything.

      Middle school students get marked down when their homework is two days late.

      How late can public safety investigators be before we mark them down?

      • Yes, that is a very good point – how long to wait? I note, at least based on media reports, or their absence, it appears there has been no reports at all of what happened. What can the cops possibly be waiting for, after more than two months? They would have all toxicology tests back – if she alleged a seizure of some kind, which anyone can do, (I note it was reported she was going to a doctor’s appointment at the time but that has not been verified that I know of) there has been plenty of time to check that out – it is pretty clear they are waiting until after March 3, isn’t it?

    • Hi Symon,

      I’ll reserve snark and insults until you’ve seen what facts are out there. Another reader has pointed out the aerial image from another news site. What can we tell from this image? Quite a lot. Here is the link below.

      https://media.nbcbayarea.com/2019/09/los-gatos-1.jpg

      * Mr. Starksky had a big wide bike lane as a buffer between him and the lane of traffic.
      * Miss Brandanini drives a luxury SUV that has a high rate of reliability. While mechanical failure could be in the realm of possibility, highly unlikely. Range Rover gives buyers classes on how to rock climb with their vehicles, really beefed up steering on them.
      * Investigator markings on the street show the approximate distance of travel. Looks like she bumped his parked car about a cars length.
      * No skid marks to be found.

      Very high probability it was caused by negligence on her part.

      • Ordinary negligence, typical for LG. At least she didn’t hump the unconscious victim like Aaron Persky. Only a man would do that.

        • > At least she didn’t hump the unconscious victim like Aaron Persky. Only a man would do that.

          You mean Brock Turner, and he’s unfit to be called a man. The guys that pulled Brock off of Chanel Miller are men.

      • I concur. This is manslaughter all day long. You fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and there is someone in the crosswalk, it’s a reckless driving charge and you’ll be talking to a judge. You cross a traffic lane and hit a parked car and it’s what? Unfortunate and makes you sad forba day or so? WTF?!?!?

    • Symon, it was all over the news that day! A driver killed a pedestrian who was retrieving stuff from his legally parked vehicle. It is hard to believe this woman had mind and hands on the rode and just killed a pedestrian. The images of the incident are quite telling. Check for yourself, the information and the images are there. She is still in denial of her situation. This is an auto wrongful death. She killed a person.

  11. I still hope her “period of reflection” includes a year in jail. I have yet to hear of any extenuating circumstances that would point to not guilty.

  12. I Andrew Boone enthusiastically endorse Jenny Higgins Bradanini for San Jose City Council District 10. Over 60 people are killed in car crashes in San Jose every year, a problem which corporate-backed candidates like Matt Mahan have done nothing about. Everyone is a victim of the high levels of traffic violence in San Jose, including killer car drivers. If elected, Mahan is even less likely to do anything meaningful about traffic violence than Bradanini, since he has not been traumatized by killing someone with a car. Mahan would make a far less competent council member overall than Bradanini, as he already long ago pledged his allegiance to the corrupting corporations whose only interest is making as much money as possible for their millionaire and billionaire owners who care nothing whatsoever for the well-being of city residents. Bradanini has pledged to work for us workers and our families instead. If you support improving life for people and for preserving the environment instead of just helping rich people get richer, vote for Jenny Higgins Bradanini by March 3.

    • > Bradanini has pledged to work for us workers and our families instead.

      So, if you and Bradanini are going to work for the workers, who are the workers going to work for?

      If you and Bradanin are going to smash the “corrupting corporations”, are all the “workers” going to work for Starbucks or day-care providers?

      Your vision for the future is kind of sketchy, Andrew.

      For your information, I and many of my fellow San Jose residents like to eat regularly and live indoors, Is your vision going to enable us to continue to do that?

      Also, will Amazon and the postal service still be able to use trucks to deliver my packages, or will they have to use bicycles from now on?

    • Wow Andrew, your endorsement speaks volume to the importance Jenny and Her supporters give to their campaign which it appears to be of a higher value of a human life! THANKS BUT NO THANKS! Any given day a Dem or Rep B!tch is a looser in a political race. Your comment shows her campaign is about something dirtier than the guy you are trying to trash. Mr. Mahan, you just got the vote of this moderate democratic pro-life and Jesus’ loving B!tch!

    • >Over 60 people are killed in car crashes in San Jose every year, a problem which corporate-backed candidates like Matt Mahan have done nothing about.

      >Bradanini has pledged to work for us workers and our families instead.

      Wait, but who is your employer? I’m guessing a corporation.

    • Andrew Boone, you are an intense individual, but I have always felt that you deserve credit for your genuine passion for bicycle/pedestrian safety advocacy. With that said, you have totally thrown that credibility out the door for the convenience of supporting a candidate who aligns more closely with your views on class warfare. If Matt Mahan had hit and killed someone, you would be the first one out criticizing him, and there is 0% chance you’d use his trauma from killing someone as an argument in his favor.

      You are totally denying the responsibility of individuals in accidents, going so far as to call Bradanini a victim of traffic violence but not explaining who created that violence or where it comes from. If you think the street Bradanini was driving on caused her to hit and kill someone, then how would she push to fix similar streets as a Councilmember? There is nothing that could have been built short of a massive impractical barrier in the middle of a bike lane that could have prevented Bradanini’s driving from causing this accident. From the available facts of the accident she had optimal driving conditions and had to go significantly out of her way. I seriously doubt you would make excuses like this for a stranger not running for city council who hit and killed a family member or close friend of yours, and if you think this was a public policy failure and not a failure of individual responsibility then you’ve got to explain what policy would have prevented this accident.

  13. I am not against Higgins/Bradanini going back to “work” which in this case is her campaign – the problem is, not explaining the accident at all – yes, it might involve, if she was honest, admitting fault without first having a resolution of the amount she will pay in damages – yes, it might be her insurance company told her not to speak, and her policy might require her to be silent while the insurance company resolves the claim – but, being a public official – in one of the most important cities in the country – overrides those considerations – she can stay silent – or speak out and stay in the race – but she should not do both – she should either tell us what happened or quit the race. And, someone, the police or the DA’s office, should explain why she has not been charged, at the least, with reckless driving, which it seems certain she is guilty of. I went out and viewed the accident scene and talked to a witness- it’s almost certain she was at fault – if you vote for her, you get someone who does not take responsibility.

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