Two in the Running for Open Campbell City Council Seat

Sergio Lopez, 24, a self-described political strategist, announced his candidacy for the Campbell City Council’s District 2 seat in 2020, making him the first to declare his bid for the open seat. Carol Hoffman, a 57-year-old local businesswoman and vice chair for the town’s Civic Improvement Commission, became the second contender a short time later.

The is the first race since Campbell’s transition from at-large to district elections.

Previously, each council member represented the whole city instead of a particular area. In 2018, attorneys from law firm Shenkman and Hughes sent a letter to the city alleging that the at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act, which prohibits “racially polarized voting.”

The City Council officially established five council districts this summer.

Tackling the housing crisis is Lopez’s stated priority. “Our affordable housing numbers have really dropped off,” he tells San Jose Inside. “When I talk to people, they worry about where their kids are going to live. We can do better on affordable housing.”

Lopez was raised in a one-bedroom apartment after his family immigrated from Mexico. His father was a grocery clerk during the day and delivered newspapers at night while his mother took care of him at home.

Lopez has also set his sights on encouraging small business initiatives in Campbell. “Small mom-and-pop operations represented by the Campbell Chamber of Commerce are providing the most jobs in the area. That’s a big priority for me,” he says.

Lopez’s own family opened a restaurant after they saved up enough money. But the financial crisis hit in 2008, forcing his family to close down the business.

“It felt like the rug was pulled out from under,”  Lopez says. “We had done everything right, but it wasn’t enough.”

Lopez touts the political experience he gained from his role as the national organizing director for Rise, a non-profit that advocates for the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights. He says he campaigned for California’s AB 1312, a bill that was authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) to reform sexual assault policies.

When it seemed that former Gov. Jerry Brown had his reservations about the plan, Lopez says he worked to get letters of support from Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo for the bill, which was signed into law in 2017.

Among Lopez’s endorsements so far: Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, Mountain View Councilwoman Ellen Kamei and Campbell Union High School District trustee Kalen Gallagher.

When reached by phone, Hoffman declined a chance to be interviewed.

Nicholas Chan is a journalist who covers politics, culture and current events in Silicon Valley. Follow him on Twitter at @nicholaschanhk.


  1. Sergio Lopez, go change your dipper and return in 15 years! I do not know who this woman is but vote for her. Sergio remember that “Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.” Life experience matters! Vote female #KamalaHarris2020

  2. No, because at age 19 I was self-supporting. People at 24 these days are still living or being supportive by mom, dad, government. Young people need to learn to be adults first and then think of maybe being leaders of others who have worked and lived much more than their time in this world. Entry level work and life experience since to be the necessary requirement to be a public official these days. Men start to mature by age 40. He should try in 15 year.

    • Funny to see a self proclaimed feminist forget the actual definition of the word, equality amongst the sexes, not one sex favored over the other, a bit hyprocrtical to the actual idea of feminism. I’d like to ask about your physic abilities since you’re so sure that you know about a candidates life and job experience. Dissmissing young candidates because of their age is quite small minded thinking, you could be a hundred with minimal real life experience and full of old ideas whereas young candidates tend to have more progressive ideals to actual move us forward. I’d like to see more articles about these two candidates because I actually like to make informed comments and decisions.

      • This person is a troll whose working for the right while trying to smear Kamala. Age has nothing to do with making the right choices. You have baby boomers in DC whose selfishness and self-interest are Destroying our democracy. Moral consciousness is something even children have. The young adult is within the legal age to run, why do you think you’re above the law???

        Fact is, you’re fake.

        • For the stupid extreme left thinkers anyone who disagrees with them is a troll, racist, or anything else. How do you measure moral consciousness in children and adults? What is your operational definition of it? Again, I would like to see this young man’s resume. It is quite visible Trump is an immature adult and more likely than not he is living with a borderline personality disorder. I wonder if this young man knows how to manage a checkbook, pays his own mortgage or rent…a mayor of a city runs a business. What are the markers of educational and/or work experience in addition to maturity he can present so people will judge his readiness to be a mayor of a City? I do not work for the right or the left. I dislike politics and politicians as a whole. I do believe Kamala Harris is the only candidate with the life and leadership experience to be the next president. She also has the knowledge and personality to take Trump out of the White House. She is a centric democrat and smart on crime. This is the president this country needs. I equally dislike the extreme left and right since these two ends represent insanity! F…k Trump,Omar, AOC, Tlaib,…all crazies!

      • Exactly, equality. Women are required to build significant education and experience in order to be seen as qualified and electable. Then any male in his 20s and a penis that just completed some practice work feels prepare to lead others. It is because of equality of sexes that this young guy needs to live and work harder before trying to be a mayor of a city. I would like to see the resume of these two people side by side, so people can make an informed opinion and decision!

      • You just said it, equality of the sexes not making a path easier for males just because of their penis. What is the experience and other contributions he will bring to the job? I would like to see the resume of these two side by side!

  3. Both of these candidates would serve Campbell well. In Campbell we have a history of having young leaders (Rusty Hammer, youngest mayor in history at that time, Evan Low the youngest gay, Asian mayor in history) and Campbell thrives.

    That being said, Commissioner Hoffman has served the city for years in a variety of ways. She was at every park clean I attended and many others from the grass roots events to Senator Bealls creek clean ups. She has been recognized by the Chamber as citizen of the year for all the work she had done. She’s a founding member of the Campbell Police Foundation. This is just a short list of what I know she has done and is far from complete.

    The districts will change Campbell’s structure, for better or worse I do not know. What I do know is this district will win with two qualified candidates.

    Personally I will be supporting Carol Hoffman because of her dedication to the city, living knowledge of the issues and proven ongoing commitment.

    • Why vote for someone who turns down media requests? Media interviews are one of the responsibilities of being a public figure and a critical part of how we hold our elected leaders accountable. If Carol Hoffman won’t take an interview with SJI at the outset of her first run for office, at a time when she has every incentive to do so, why should we expect her to take interviews with the media on more difficult subjects after she gets elected? If you believe in her candidacy, tell her this please.

    • > Evan Low the youngest gay, Asian mayor in history) and Campbell thrives.

      Just dumb identity politics.

      Really insulting to voters.

      What does “young” have to do with being a competent mayor?

      What does “gay” have to do with being a competent mayor?

      What does “Asian” have to do with being a competent mayor?

      If Campbell elects a mayor who ISN’T gay, what’s the problem?

      If Campbell votes down a “senior” candidate, aren’t they being “ageist”?

      If voting for an Asian mayor is signalling the virtue of Campbell voters, how Asian does a candidate have to be to get full virtue credit?

      If a candidate likes sushi, is that Asian enough?

      Just dumb.

      Progressives need to take about a fifty year time out to let their brains mature.

  4. I am all for regular hard-working citizens being elected instead of “political strategists” because I hate people who concentrate on planning and working for a political career rather than working for the betterment of their community.
    I am also in favor of electing more qualified women onto public off but have a huge objection to promoting Ms. Harris, don’t trust her, never will.

  5. When I see the name Nicholas Chan, I see his close connections to local Asian and Middle Eastern Politicians. Thus the one that seems to work for the extreme left of this county is him. For this, all of his reporting is advocacy for these politicians and their causes. SHAMEFUL! I am glad this woman did not agree to talk to him.

    • Nicholas Chan is a student at Santa Clara University who is an intern with San Jose Inside/Metro (although he has put out a considerable volume of content for an intern). Considering that there is no public information about him having “close connections to local Asian and Middle Eastern Politicians,” I have to ask, WHAT are you talking about? Are you seriously saying that you don’t trust this author because of his name? Do you think that all Asian-Americans have close connections with each other, and therefore are unqualified to report on a political contest between a white woman and a hispanic man?

      I know this response to your comment is late-coming, but I do not think this apparent display of prejudice should stand unchallenged.

      • Hey, I forgot to say, Sergio Lopez and Aisha W… are among those being promoted at local Asian political group, Dems groups. Wow the extreme left recruiting young and inexperienced politicians that can be easily manipulated to become part of the extreme antisemite people in power. These are the same groups that support Bernie and Warren who both have antisemites as their staff. These are the same local extreme left groups that are fans of Omar, AOC, Tlaib, Pressley, and Assad’s apologist Tulsi Gabbard. These groups want for Islamic States terrorists to have no problem continuing their Bacha Bazi, child marriages, and gassing people. These are the same groups that want us to believe that Israel is responsible for all atrocities that happen in Islamic States. They also want to force us to believe that Abraham was an Arab, Jesus a Palestinian, and Islam the only religion that matters! SHAMEFUL!

      • Sergio López and Aisha Wahab are pictured and promoted at the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Democratic Club. These are the same political people Mr. Chan has been promoting here in SJI. One of the board members of the club is an executive for Asian American community Involvement (AACI). This is the same local agency that just received a recognition from SVN. Is all these coincidental? If people want to be connected to the local public officials including Liccardo and Jeff Rosen, they just need to be connected to this Group and the Silicon Valley young democrats. These are the groups and locations where connection and future political seats of insiders are created including the antisemitism agenda. Hey Sergio your picture is there! I just hope SJI do not become Mercury News, the PR firm of local public officials.

  6. The San Jose Community is a very close Community unfortunately for many of these local politicians. We know that those better connected to the county resources, jobs, and intern opportunities are those from Santa Clara university and Stanford. It is quite telling that significant people now being part of the local public officials’ staffing and employees are connected to these two universities and local politicians and influential people. This is how this insider elite politics in Silicon Valley has formed. Then you see these local politicians taking photos with executives of local non-profits that themselves have been part of political campaigns or worked for local officials. The politicians Nicholas Chan has been advocating for are the same politicians local Asian political groups are promoting in their sites. Go check their websites. Again, San Jose is a small community; you can run here but not hide! SHAMEFUL!

      • One last thing, this piece is about Sergio Lopez, Carol just took few sentences at the beginning. The article about Aisha was about she ,grandiose reporting, making history. These two people appear on those websites I mentioned. This is when Mr. Chan engaged in promoting and advocating for these two. It is clear who he wants people to vote for! He could do a bit of research on Carol; it is there. But the purpose of the piece was to promote Sergio. To bad Aisha dropped. She was interested on grabbing an easy seat. Now that Swalwell is back, she dropped:(

        • Ms. Hoffman did not receive as much attention in the article because she declined an interview. The bulk of the content on Mr. Lopez clearly derives from an interview that Nicholas Chan conducted with him.

          I have asked you twice to explain your statement and you have refused to do so, instead telling me to “connect the dots.”
          I will reply no more, except now to tell you that as part of the SJI community, I do not accept your racially-motivated attacks on a young journalist who has done nothing wrong. I have read your past comment complaining about “south and east asian politicians” wronging the people of Santa Clara County. I believe you have unhealthy issues of racial resentment, and I hope that you find some way to acknowledge and deal with them.

  7. Just connect the pieces and check Facebook and other social media sites. The pattern is there. I did not need to know he is and intern. His ‘“articles” have the coding and messages of the sites where those candidates and politicians are promoted. The people of Santa Clara County are watching. We will go after anyone not just Trump! This includes other democrats who engage in the corruption of being connected to everyone in the county including media. Media is no longer the watch dog of government but the PR firms. SHAMEFUL SILICON VALLEY NEWSROOM FOR BECOMING PART OF THESE ELITE DEMOCRATIC CORRUPTION! Our ears and eyes are everywhere! We are here to stay and all corrupted people will be exposed one by one! NO PASS TO ANTISEMITES with a progressive title! ENOUGH!

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