Candidates Line up for District 4; Interim Appointment Coming?

Kansen Chu’s decampment from the San Jose City Council for the State Assembly has spun off a crowded race to replace him. So far, 10 people have expressed an interest in running for North San Jose’s District 4 in a special election April 7, which could lead to a June 23 runoff. Given that fewer than 10,000 people cast a vote in the last D4 special election in 2007—a measly 27 percent turnout—the winner could end up deciding matters for a city of a million residents after receiving fewer than a few thousand votes. Contenders include a host of familiar faces. Ex-Obama administration trade advisor Teresa Cox, who challenged Chu in his bid for the 25th Assembly District, may vie to fill his council seat. Johnny Lee, who was up against Tam Nguyen in D7 until he fell four signatures short of making it to the ballot, says he moved to the Berryessa neighborhood back in April to get ready for the race. Chu’s wife, Daisy Chu, already has the name recognition in the district and political experience as a former Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors policy aide. (Unfortunately, it’s with felonious ex-supe George Shirakawa Jr.) Also potentially in the running: Rep. Mike Honda congressional aide Allen Chiu, lone Republican David Neighbors, school trustee Thelma Boac, banker Alex Torres, Realtor Bob Dhillon, San Jose cop Tam Truong, who got crushed by Kansen Chu in 2012, and attorney Lan Diep. Newly elected Berryessa Union School District trustee David Cohen has been saying for years that he’d like to run for a seat in D4, but with young children it’s just not the right time. Meanwhile, San Jose’s City Council may struggle to accomplish much of anything in the next eight months. Chu’s successor won’t be seated until August, leaving the council with an even 10 members and a potential tie in votes for the rest of the fiscal year. A source, however, tells Fly that folks shouldn't be surprised if an interim appointment is made.

Send a tip to The Fly

The Fly is the valley’s longest running political column, written by Metro Silicon Valley staff, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at local politics. Fly accepts anonymous tips.


  1. SJI- “Chu’s wife, Daisy Chu, already has the name recognition in the district and political experience as a former Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors policy aide. (Unfortunately, it’s with felonious ex-supe George Shirakawa Jr.)”

    Seriously? Come on. Daisy is one of the most qualified, integrity ridden people I know. To link her to George’s bad behavior is simply unfair. He was her boss. Good grief!

    • From a Mercury News report on Daisy Chu collecting $10,000 for Shirakawa, which he reported as outside income when it was actually designed to be a political contribution:

      The email continues: “The newspaper called today wanting to know what George is consulting on at HGU. Daisy maybe taking your money and NOT putting it to Political Donations to avoid the other problems George has with the county and State. She maybe saying it is for ‘consulting’ so it does not have to be reported on the political reporting forms, but just the tax forms. As an elected official, George still has to list his income sources!”

      This is a topic she should be willing to explain if she wants to be a public official.


      • We can always tell who SJI does not favor by the way SJI starts trying to make them look bad. Motive stands out like a sore thumb.

      • JK- YOU are quoting the Murkey News! The people who stole your Metro Newsstands? OMG! I have now seen EVERYTHING! LOL!

        Is it true that you gave us a quote from Teresa Alvarado about the NAACP that she claimed she never gave in the first place, or should we just believe YOU at face value?

        Credibility, it is a sword that cuts both ways JK~

    • Did Daisy Chu really not know about George’s crimes, or did she just turn a blind eye? A question that needs to be answered definitively before the election.

      • JMO- First of all, Daisy has not announced an intention to run. I have seen SJI make these kinds of speculations in the past, regarding Pattie Cortese’s supposed bid for her husband’s vacated Council seat. When I spoke to Pattie about the possibility of her running, she just laughed and said NO! She had so much on her plate between the community work she does, raising children, and working on her husband’s campaigns and the community work he does, that running for Council was not in her future. (I must admit that I was disappointed about her not running. I think she would do an awesome job.)

        Secondly, Daisy left the County NOT because of George’s ouster. She had plans to leave long before that mess came out when she found out her daughter was pregnant with her first grandchild. Daisy left to help her daughter through her pregnancy, and to spend time with her new and very beautiful granddaughter.

        She also left to help prepare for her husband’s Assembly campaign. I seriously doubt that she will run for anything, and if she ever did, I would be her most vocal supporter because I have worked with her and I know her expectations, her love for our community, and her level of professionalism!

        As to what she did or did not know about George’s bad dealings, I doubt nor do I believe that Daisy would ever go along with anything illegal. I don’t care what the Murkey News says. She has way too much integrity to do something like that. Many of us are deeply disappointed by George’s actions because we didn’t know he was doing what he did, and we believed in him at the time we supported him.

        Having said that, I personally worked on George’s campaign when he ran for the Board of Supervisors. I was devastated when I found out what he did. I felt betrayed, and angry that he would do such a horrible thing. When he asked me to stand by him during his denials, I told him I would NOT and that he should own up to his mistakes, and resign. Many of his former supporters told him to resign and he wouldn’t until the DA made a deal with him.

        So does that mean that if I were ever crazy enough to run for office, which I have ZERO intention of doing, that my good name should be linked with his actions because I believed in him and worked on his campaign? I think not.

  2. Completely agree with you Kathleen. I know some awesome eople who worked for Xavier Campos and it would be COMPLETELY unfair to link people who worked with him, as corrupt themselves.

  3. Prediction here…

    Bob Dhilon has been making a TON of political moves in the last 2 years that I’ve known him. The Desi’s would love to see a more moderate to conservative representative. He has the connections, the political collateral, money, and the manpower to win it.

  4. Our community group is meeting with David Hernandez, a very well known local in Berryessa with a tons of ties to schools and community groups to persuade him to run. Just Google “David Hernandez Berryessa” and you’ll see what we’re talking about. My group has monitored his community organizing skills and large network and discovered he was the driving force behind Kansen’s victory in 2012 where they squashed Tam Troung. If anyone could pull it out, it would this guy. He’s a workhorse, an admired public education advocate, and dedicated to Berryessa unlike some of these transplants or carpetbaggers.

  5. Also, has anyone looked into Kansen Chu’s staff changes over the years? There must have been 15+ different staff in and out his office. His Chief of Staff left early on before the June election. Sounds fishy to me.

    • SJC- Working for the Mayor or Council requires a huge time commitment in the evenings, and on weekends, as well as, working full time week days. I know, I’m engaged to a former Chief of Staff, and I work/worked with many Council Aides in every office on the 18th floor.

      I know and have worked with almost ALL of Kansen’s staff for the entire time he was in office. His Chief of Staff, Stephanie, who is a friend of mine that I recommended for a job with Kansen when he was fist elected years ago, left because she got married and took a job that allowed her to spend more time with her new husband.

      Rosa had a baby, and took a job that allowed her more time to be home with her baby. She just gave birth to her second child, who is very beautiful by the way! Daisy and Kansen, along with is staff, threw her a wonderful baby shower which I attended.

      The others left to go to college either locally or out of this area. Some were offered better paying jobs with less demanding hours. Everyone I worked with in his office both loved and respected him, as I do.

      Many who left came back to help on his campaign, even though they worked or went to school somewhere else. It was great to see them, and to hear about their new endeavors.

      One of the many reasons I respect Kansen so much is that he always encourages and supports his staff’s personal and career growth. Working for a Council Member is not the best paid position in the world and the hours are very demanding! There is no such thing as time for a personal life when you work for a Council Member or the Mayor!

      Another reason I respect him so much is that he hired a City employee from another department, who was going to be laid off by the City during budget cuts. He only had a few months remaining to qualify for his retirement. By Kansen giving him a job for those remaining months, he was allowed to get the retirement benefits he worked so hard for.

      I disagree that staff members leaving in a period of almost eight years is such a big deal. Many of them are young, talented, and educationally/career driven. I say good for them!

  6. “My group has monitored his community organizing skills…” Well, we’re still seeing what a mess a community organizer is still making of the entire country. A “constitutional scholar” who apparently slept through the lectures about Article I of the US Constitution.

  7. JMO–That community organizer is the greatest President in our lifetime. Saved capitalism, ended two wars, reduced deficit, got a national healthcare program, taxed the top 2%, the unemployment rate is low, the stock market is up and he has done it by himself with no help from the obstructionists in Congress. Give me a community organizer everytime.

  8. I believe that canvassing the large corporations and downtown businesses on who would be the best Candidate to represent their interests is paramount. As we all know, Corporations and businesses are considered “people”, and their money is considered “free speech”. A Corporation Candidate (like the COO of Ebay or Cisco) would inject a MUCH better understanding of running a successful business model. I am sure the homeless problem, pension reform, bike lanes and overcrowding would be quickly and accurately resolved.
    Having the Corporate, blood-in-the-water mentality and profit driven attitude would really help the situation facing San Jose. Cheap labor with immense profits might help the Police Situation too.

  9. > As we all know, Corporations and businesses are considered “people”, and their money is considered “free speech”.

    This REALLY bugs the lefties.

    I have no clue about what they think is going to change if corporations and businesses DON’T have free speech, but the PEOPLE who own corporations and businesses DO have free speech.

    This is a textbook example of a “runaway narrative”.

    Tribalists (“leftists”) decide what to believe by deciding WHO to believe. The tribal shamans and narrative spinners have made up this goofy theory of businesses somehow not having free speech and so the spear carriers have to believe it or they won’t get to sit around the campfire and get their “fair share” of wild pig.

  10. Dude, you are easier than a fishing trip in mexico….first the rickshaws, now the Corporate pigs making City Policy…..and I dont even have to bait the hook.

Leave a Reply

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