Two Winners and Three November Matchups Emerge from San Jose City Council Primary

Election results have been updated, as of 5pm June 8.

The Election Division of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters continued to count ballots today, and reported that as of 5 pm Wednesday, June 8, only about half of the San Jose ballots had been counted.

The June 7 Primary Election for five San Jose City Council seats, with 17 total candidates, resulted in two outright winners – Rosemary Kamei in District 1 and Pam Foley in District 9.

The matchups for the November ballot in the three other races – Districts 3, 5 and 7 – were still too close to call today because of close votes for the runner-up positions, with only half the ballots counted.

District 1

Rosemary Kamei, riding high on a wave of endorsements from well-known politicians including popular termed-out District 1 Councilmember Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, was a shoo-in to be elected outright after Wednesday’s ballot count.

With 54% of votes counted, Kamei had 64.7% of the votes in District 1, well above the 50% needed to avoid a runoff. The totals changed little after the first day's count.

Kamei had the endorsements of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Assemblymember Evan Low and former state Sen. Jim Beall.

Candidates Ramona Arellano Snyder recorded 26.2% and Tim Gildersleeve received 9.2% of the early primary votes.

District 3

Omar Torres, a member of the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District Board, continued to hold a strong lead in the downtown District 3, but his 40.6% total is well short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff.

His opponent in November will likely be Irene Smith, whose total held at  20.7%, solidly ahead of Elizabeth Chien-Hale with 16% or Joanna Rauh, with 15.8%. Candidate Omar Torres had 6.8% of the vote.

Omar Torres was an unsuccessful candidate for the Santa Clara Valley Water District board in 2018 and for the Franklin-McKinley School District board in 2014.

Smith lists her experience as a small business owner, mental health care provider, conflict resolution collaborator, administrative law officer, pro tem judge and accountant.

District 5

Nora Campos is on her way to a runoff election that could return her to her city council roots in East San Jose’s District 5, with a solid lead over four opponents, in early unofficial, incomplete returns.

As of June 8, Campos had 31.7% of the votes, leading two community activists whose vote totals still were close enough to change as the vote count continued – Peter Ortiz with 21.6%, Hanh Giao Nguyen with 19%. Candidates Rolando Bonilla had 14.1% and Andres Quintero's total was 13.6%.

Campos served on the council for 10 years, from 2000 to 2010, when she was elected to the first of two terms as the 23rd District representative in the California Assembly, where she was speaker pro tem in 2012. Campos was unsuccessful twice in bids to be elected to the state Senate, losing to Jim Beall in 2016 and to Dave Cortese in 2020. She is a representative on the California Commission on the Status of Women.

District 7

District 7 incumbent Maya Esparza held a wide lead late Tuesday over Bien Doan, her closest opponent, but also continued to fall well short of the 50% needed to avoid a runoff.

Esparza had talled 43.8% to Doan’s 28.8% and Van Le’s 27.4%. The final matchup likely will have to wait until the last ballots are counted.

District 9

Incumbent Pam Foley was re-elected with no opposition.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *