Council Election Night Preview, Review

The day you’ve all been waiting for is almost here. No, not Election Day. We’re talking about the day after tomorrow, when people can put partisan politics to bed and go back to calling each other $%&#! at the dinner table based solely on the content of one’s character.

Until then, we’re in a holding pattern.

All four of the City Council campaigns amped up their outreach over the weekend, hoping to sway those undecided voters in districts 8 and 10. Here are the details on what each campaign has been up to in the last week:

District 8

Rose Herrera’s campaign had a horrible last week, after the councilmember’s husband was caught removing Jimmy Nguyen’s campaign signs and attempting to throw them in a public park’s trash can. The silliness turned serious when Herrera’s husband, Matt Wahlin, accused lobbyist Dustin DeRollo and community member Duc Lam of assaulting him during the act of sign disposal.

Herrera’s campaign distributed 40,000 door hangers over the weekend, according to political consultant Vic Ajlouny. The hangers cite a Mercury News editorial headlined, “Wipe Away Slime, vote for Rose Herrera.” Undoubtedly, this has been the nastiest and most expensive local council race in the last two years, and potentially ever in San Jose.

But when the votes are in and counted, the true winners probably won’t be a victorious candidate or even the exhausted residents. It will be the political consultants, independent expenditure committees and their organizers who fomented the furor in Evergreen and filled their pockets in the process. In this case, slime may be a momentary collateral cost.

Nguyen, who might as well be the guy waving in the background for attention in this race, spent the last week targeting undecided voters with phones banks and going door to door, according to consultant Rich Robinson.

Both candidates will hold election night parties at private residences.

District 10

The race between Robert Braunsetin and Johnny Khamis in District 10 has taken an odd, frantic turn in the final week.

Khamis has been under attack by a firefighters union hit piece about various issues, including his foreclosure from two decades ago. (Khamis has blamed the foreclosure on his ex-wife.) At the same time, Khamis challenged Braunstein to release his credit scores, as he did, as an indication of who has the better ability to manage the city’s finances. (If you’re curious, the mailer says Khamis’ highest credit score is 797, according to TransUnion. Braunstein’s people say Khamis never contacted them directly about releasing credit scores.)

Ajlouny, who also oversees Khamis’ campaign, says that arguments in favor of the Republican candidate were featured in 50,000 door hangers across Almaden. The hangers cited Khamis’ financial acumen, discounted the union’s attacks and included endorsements from San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Pat Dando and Jim Cunneen.

Braunstein’s campaign utilized robocalls from the candidate as well as two others featuring U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo. There were also four to five targeted mailers sent in the last week, according to Braunstein campaign manager, Peter Allen.

Braunstein’s campaign has no centralized election night party location, while Khamis and supporters plan to start at Sonoma Chicken Coop on Almaden Expressway.

Initial results from the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters should start rolling in around 8pm, with more complete numbers arriving around 10pm.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


    • Jimmy Nugyen seems like a genuinely honest and honorable person and I feel like I can trust him. Ultimately, I think that’s what matters.

      • An addendum,

        Rose, what was your campaign manager thinking???  I live in district 8 and I received one of your 40,000 “wipe away slime” door hangers. I just gave it a quick glance as I put it in the recycle bin and all I noticed was the word “slime” and the name Rose Herrera. Now I’ll always think of the two together. Way to go!!

  1. Why is the Teresa Castellanos sign still on SCV Water District property, near William Street Park and conveniently on the way to a polling place?

    Who enforces these violations?

  2. Why is the Teresa Castellanos sign still on SCV Water District near William Street Park, and conveniently on the way to a polling place?

    Who “enforces” these blatant campaign violations (which are about as common as people talking on cell phones while driving)?

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