Cash Flows in Crowded District 4 City Council Race

Ten names will grace the ballot for San Jose’s special election in April, but only nine plan to actively campaign for the District 4 City Council seat. Almost as soon as Berryessa school board member Thelma Boac qualified, the longtime educator announced she would not pursue the seat. Her subtraction gives the race a distinct pre-suffrage vibe—men only—but because of the timing, Boac’s name will still appear as an option for D4 voters. While she doesn’t intend to raise funds, others in the race have been stocking contributions away since December. Lan Diep, a Republican attorney who recently gave up his job with the Legal Aid Society to run for the seat, wouldn’t disclose his numbers, which become public in February, but said he was “happy” with his haul to date. Manh Nguyen, a media baron of sorts in North San Jose but known by few outside the Vietnamese community, has been collecting cash at a breakneck pace, according to sources in his campaign. Nguyen has reportedly raised more than $50,000 in cash, and he intends to double down with another $50K in in-kind contributions via ads in his newspaper, Vietnam Liberty News, and the 1500 AM radio station program he owns. That’s a significant amount of resources for a race in which only 10,000 people total are expected to vote. Diep had hoped to garner an endorsement from Mayor Sam Liccardo, who he helped as a volunteer in last year’s mayoral campaign, but word is Nguyen interjected after providing Liccardo support with his ample media resources. With so many candidates, the mayor has wisely decided to sit it out until the runoff. Early betting lines have labor siding with Allen Chiu, a staffer for Congressman Mike Honda, or Tim Orozco, who works in the office of state Senator Bob Wieckowski. And then there’s Johnny Lee, a young Republican who sent out a casting call email for campaign volunteers. He sold the indentured servitude as a way to build “life long” skills and friendships. Obviously, he’s new to politics.

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  1. Interesting comments about cash.

    I am sure most of the money going to Manh Nguyen is from business people he knows, but I am sure they are local.

    Nguyen is not like Carrasco, who apparently, among all of her other supports, got money from a Los Angeles solar power magnate, who made a fortune from local agency contracts in LA. But this is San Jose. I am sure Manh and others are going to keep their money coming from local people. Interesting about Carrasco.

    That 500 buck solar check came from a buddy of her former “hubby” deLeon, who now has to come clean with the FBI about that 500 check from the solar guy.

    I think Manh, or Allen, or even Tim will keep their ties to the district. They do not have a sugar daddy named Kevin

  2. Tim Orozco is a political hack. He’s been working for Bob Wiecokski and now he too wants to be an elected. My problem with Tim is that based on my experience I think he can’t handle the pressure. He is a quitter and gives up when the going gets tough. He is not reliable and he has a hard time focusing.

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