Pam Foley Headed for Victory in San Jose’s District 9 Race

In the race for San Jose’s only open City Council seat, District 9, real estate broker Pam Foley pulled ahead of Kalen Gallagher by 945 votes on Wednesday. Foley, a business-backed San Jose Unified School District trustee, is on track to succeed labor-aligned Councilman Don Rocha as Cambrian-area representative.

A victory for Foley would give conservatives and moderates a majority sway on the 11-member council, which is currently divided between business and union interests with D7 Councilman Tam Nguyen representing the swing vote.

Gallagher, who serves on the Campbell Union High School District board of trustees, emerged as the dark horse candidate in the primary without support from either labor or business. In Tuesday’s contest, he managed to claim nearly 47 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting and 52 percent of the ballots counted.

As the returns posted late Tuesday, Foley celebrated the results with friends and political allies at her Willow Glen Home. Some of San Jose’s conservative council members, including Dev Davis and Johnny Khamis, joined the intimate gathering. As did with officials from the Silicon Valley Organization (SVO), the region’s leading business advocacy group, one of Foley’s biggest backers and the folks behind a misleading attack ad against her opponent.

Gallagher, who opted not to host an election night party, raised his campaign cash from primarily individual donors while Foley enjoyed generous support from real estate developers and the SVO.

When the SVO PAC targeted Gallagher in a series of deceptive fliers, Foley denounced the tactics at a press conference. But unlike Pat Waite, who returned SVO’s campaign contribution after the group smeared his rival in the District 2 race, Foley kept the cash.

The candidates themselves ran clean campaigns, however, and kept their focus on the issues. Foley said she supports Google’s planned move into downtown and incentives such as tax cuts to spur more housing construction. She was endorsed by the council’s business-aligned bloc, including Davis, Khamis, Chappie Jones and Mayor Sam Liccardo as well as conservative former mayors Chuck Reed and Judy Chirco.

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  1. So sad! Pam is the ultimate pol schmoozer who wants to be liked more than getting results. Check our her performance as an SJUSD school board member at Mediocre academic performance and HUGE Achievement gaps!

    Guess it is better that she is on the City Council so she can no longer do disservice to our kiddos! Good riddance.

    The same critique applies to Susan Ellenberg who is another self-important “feminist” schmoozer who is now moving up to County Supervisor after lackluster performance as president of the SJUSD School Board. Keep her away from the children as well. Good riddance.

  2. > When the SVO PAC targeted Gallagher in a series of deceptive fliers, . . . .

    No one ever listens to me. I have pointed out several times how ridiculously skimpy is the available information for voters to make their voting decisions.


    Don’t whine to me about “deceptive fliers”.

    I told you so.
    SAN JOSE OUTSIDE THE BUBBLE Oct 24, 2018 @ 9:01 pm

    > Is Kalen really qualified to do this incredibly important job?

    We have virtually NOTHING on which to judge his qualifications, and the same is true of just about every other candidate for local office.

    No birth certificate.
    No citizenship records.
    No genealogy.
    No education history
    No transcripts.
    No degrees.
    No employment history.
    No professional certifications.
    No disciplinary actions
    No military records
    No arrest records.
    No outstanding warrants.
    No lawsuits.
    No judgements.
    No restraining orders.
    No divorces.
    No evictions.
    No bankruptcies.
    No tax records.
    No property records.
    No election history.
    No medical records.
    No vaccination records.
    No background checks.
    No FBI investigations.
    No security clearances.
    No awards, no commendations, no Nobel prizes.

    • What efforts have you made to determine the information? How much of it is relevant to determine the candidates’ character and fitness?
      Much is public record. So, you could start there.

  3. > So sad! Pam is the ultimate pol schmoozer who wants to be liked more than getting results.
    . . .
    > The same critique applies to Susan Ellenberg who is another self-important “feminist” schmoozer


    You’re not even TRYING to cheer me up.

    This is the best that “democracy” can do?

    Would things be this bad if we still had King George III or Emperor Maximilian?

    • Sorry SJ Outside the Bubble. We are in the King George III zeitgeist! Many of our leaders have no real talent and hold their positions based upon their ability to exploit their unbelievable niceness. They hire and work with ineffectual staff and others so that no one can call them out on their own lack of knowledge and skill in their job.

      They are able to maintain their position using the well used ploys of special case to support their poorly conceived initiatives and programs. Sign on to the Balanced Reading program for elementary students! Ignore the science of learning how to read. Just put engaging and interesting b
      ooks in front of kids and they will magically learn how to read which they call Eyes on Print! Voila – everyone is reading. Unfortunately, half of SJUSD 3rd graders are not proficient in reading. Never mind, we can always find a few students who have blossomed in reading and shuttle them in front of the school boards as evidence of the success of the Balanced Reading program. This artifice also has the salutory effect of stroking Board members who perenially in need of love.

      Also the leaders are able to bambooze everyone by confating ends with means by establishing technology goals or parent goals. And on and on and on.

      It will be at least 2.5 generations of niceness before we get some real accountability within the fog of goverenment especially the education side of government.

      Save thyself should be everyone’s motto!

  4. I did not support either one of these women, but in my opinion, the person who made the comment above needs to get a life. So Pam Foley and Susan Ellenberg won, well good for them. They deserve respect. They are both wonderful people, who are decent and very hard working. I did not agree with them, but I can be enough of a gentleman to wish them well and congratulate them. I wish them success. As for the above comment, pal, get a life

  5. Absolutely good for them as it gets them out of leadership positions within the SJUSD school board. There are plenty of nice people in the world but that does not mean that they should get leadership positions within government. That is one of the prime reasons that we have such a low level of actual success in government and especially education.

    Nice people advance in the hierarchy of education and since they do not have any real expertise beyond their schmooze ability, they become successful by recruiting, grooming, and hiring other nice/loyal people who have no real expertise. With a cadre of nice ineffectual people, they are able to maintain their own positions through loyalty rather than the ability to get results for children! It is a system perfectly aligned to advance the careers of nice and unfortunately ineffectual people. They advance a culture of Me First, My Family First, and my Friends First!

    And the parents and community accept this bargain of niceness at the expense of the achievement of their students. It will be at least 2.5 generations before we are able to dispell this suffocating fog of education and transform the system into one that is world class, based on ability, and fully accountable for student results.

    In the meantime, save thyself by finding tutors for your students and and other additional resources to advance the academic success of your children. Our Asian brethern have been doing that for years and you can see their success in any district no matter the quality of the district. They are not going to leave their children behind! Nor should you!

    I will be working with a community radio station called KCXU 92.7 to develop some educational programming that will enhance the ability of students, parents, and community to successfully advocate for their children within the chaotic K-12 system. I will also build a web site at where students, parents, and the community can find both resources and tools to successfully interact with schools and school districts and to independently advance the academic success of our children.

    • > Both Pam and Kalen are awful choices. D9s candidates were all awful this cycle.

      It’s not just D9.

      Awful candidates are not the exception in California; it’s the rule.

      Almost no real information is known about candidates. People who work in day care centers at least have to be fingerprinted and checked to see if they’re sex offenders.

      Not true of candidates for public office.

      Candidates can be sexual harassers, drunks, deadbeats or sociopaths. And voters will never know.

      Why not the best? I dunno. I guess mediocrities need jobs, too.

      • Kalen is an exceptional and phenomenal. He is probably only one of the handful of Young Democrats which Labor never really put any resources behind – yet elected to School Board and only couple hundred votes behind Meg Whit..I mean Pam Foley.

        He didn’t seek any institutional support, if any. He’s once again proven to be rabble rousing Young Democrat who’s not afraid one bit to take on the status quo. If Labor won’t take care of him, I have his back and then some.

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