Ron Gonzales left his wife, Alvina Gonzales, for a much-younger staffer in 2000—the first of several scandals that destroyed his once promising political career—but at least the affair culminated in a lasting marriage for the ex-San Jose mayor.
Until now, that is.
Guiselle Nunez—who was 25 when a 49-year-old Gonzales began dating her behind the backs of friends, family and colleagues—recently made her separation “Facebook official.”
Social media posts suggest she moved out of the Gonzales abode to stay with a relative.
Fly (then known as Public Eye) broke news of Gonzales’ secret courtship, prompting the once-rising political star and head of the state’s third-largest city to come clean the morning of publication in an apologetic press conference.
The office romance wasn’t the mayor’s only misstep, of course, but it was arguably a turning point. It followed the national uproar over Bill Clinton’s workplace dalliance, and dashed Gonzales’ shot at becoming California’s first Latinx governor since U.S. statehood.
News reports from around that time cite a few other political setbacks, including Gonzales’ attempts to pack a city commission with political allies and leading a vote against a popular proposal to expand health insurance for kids.
And though bribery and corruption charges stemming from a secret $11 million rate deal with a city-contracted waste hauler ultimately didn’t stick, the prosecutorial crusade against Gonzales had, by the end of the ‘aughts, hopelessly branded him as a political pariah.
Gonzales leveraged his connections to ostensibly good ends, however, fundraising for community causes through the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley.
Charity work proved more lucrative, anyway.
According to tax disclosures, the fundraising organization paid the mayor-turned-nonprofit exec, who turns 70 this year, $177,522 in 2018. That’s close to what he’d have made as governor.