Ex-San Jose Mayor, Aide-Turned-Wife Part Ways After 21 Years

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.

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

7 Comments

  1. Didn’t think I’d ever hear from good old Ron again. 25 years ago he lived 4 house’s down the street from us. The neighbor hood was a nice place with a low crime rate and friendly polite people. Since then we have had murder, home invasion, rape, assault, stabbing, attempted kidnaping, car brake in’s,
    a homeless invasion, trash dumped, cars dumped, drug dealers, and deadbeats.

    Like Ron we have left the building and are all the better for it. Please keep all that crap going on in San Jose, I don’t need it here.

  2. Gotta say no happiness, fun or joy in someone else’s divorce.

    Sorry to hear about it, wish it didn’t happen, these things have a way of hurting people in many unfortunate ways.

  3. What I remember is how devoted his wife was to him. She campaigned for his election and stood by him until she learned of the affair at a beauty salon, as I recall. We would watch Ron and the aide/girlfriend walking hand-in-hand down city sidewalks. I’m sorry for any divorce, but you reap what you sow.

  4. Geeze – this is such a petty story. Who cares what happens to a man and a woman who’s been married for 21 years decide what they do with their relationship.

    Such a petty gawker’s story.

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