Cindy’s in. Unless she isn’t.

Cindy Chavez is one of the San Jose area’s cagiest political poker players, not one to show her cards accidentally or stray from talking points. That’s why, when she shared her ambition to become San Jose’s next mayor at a private luncheon of Asian-American and Pacific Islander electeds, it was quite the July bombshell, even though no one will go on record as having witnessed the detonation.

Evan Low, the assemblyman who organized the lunch, claims “I was walking in and out… I could have been outside” when Chavez delivered the news. Supervisor Otto Lee had an alibi too, swearing he showed up late and missed her remarks, but heard about the announcement from others. Santa Clara Councilman Kevin Park says “that was a Big Thing” but wouldn’t repeat what she said. County Board of Education trustee Rosemary Kamei says she must’ve been in the bathroom when Chavez unveiled her intentions.

Others, however, confirm that Chavez left little doubt that she plans to upend the field that already includes downtown councilmembers Raul Peralez and Dev Davis. Her entry would pit two labor-aligned Latinos against one another in the primary and add a second female to the race.

Also kicking the tires is former technology executive Matt Mahan, who won the District 10 seat in March 2020.

While Chavez will certainly benefit from high name recognition and her coalition building as a county supervisor, City Hall watchers remember that she was trounced by almost 20 points in the 2006 San Jose mayoral runoff with Chuck Reed, the most lopsided whooping since Tom McEnery creamed Claude Fletcher four decades ago.

Political consultants to opponents are already sharpening their knives and eager to remind voters about the multiple scandals that swirled around city hall during Chavez’s tenure on the council and to highlight her free-spending ways as a county supervisor. Valet parking anyone?


The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.


  1. Then there’s the Default Case appeal to many, given the others who are running.

    That may have led her to run, of course.

  2. I 100% would not vote for Chavez. Part of the SCC/San Jose political establishment that has made small problems, massive problems and still have no realistic solutions.

    No thank you.

  3. Absolutely, 100% agree. You captured my thoughts exactly. San Jose residents…time for a massive overhaul of out government. It has and will continue to fail us.

  4. With Chavez probably in the race, the need for a viable, clean candidate becomes critical. Unfortunately Raul Peralez, in accepting an endorsement from Ron Gonzales as an “honor,” has descended into the slime.

  5. The queen ? of the homeless epidemic. If she ever becomes mayor she will ensure that San Jose becomes like Detroit and the flight of the hard workers and producers will only increase. The destruction of San Jose under Democrat rule continues.

  6. Not one person of the Democratic Party would have been out of the room for ANY reason when Cindy Chavez was speaking. Not one. She is that revered by local democratic politicians who believe in giving away money to everyone but those that actually pay the bills.

    Evan Low, Otto Lee, and Rosemary Kamei all lied to The Fly, when they said they were out of the room. Either that or they disrespect her that much.

    If she runs and wins, she will give away the house and ignore taxpayers, and avoid accountability, much as she currently does at the County.

  7. San Jose would be greatly improved with new leaders, new ideas. we’ve had nothing but a revolving door of the same people simply changing hats.

Leave a Reply

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