With tens of thousands of homes in San Jose’s District 2, what are the chances that a candidate stumbles on his competitor’s campaign event while precinct-walking?
Whatever the odds, Jonathan Fleming says that’s exactly what happened on Nov. 6 while he was out spreading the gospel of his run for office in the south San Jose council district, which spans Santa Teresa, Coyote Valley and Monterey Road.
Fleming, a self-described fiscal conservative who’s challenging D2 Councilman Sergio Jimenez’s re-election bid in the March 2020 primary, says he encountered multiple residents who tipped him off about his rival’s campaign soiree taking place at a nearby house. The ex-neighborhood commissioner continued making his rounds as the sun set and—surprise, surprise!—stumbled upon the rumored shindig.
The host who opened the door initially insisted that Fleming come on in. But Maribel Villareal—Jimenez’s campaign manager—intercepted, suggesting that it would probably be best if Fleming came back some other time.
“I was laughing pretty hard when I left,” Fleming told Fly, “especially since I had no clue the event was even happening that night. It was just one of those random time, random place events and it was just pretty funny.”
Fleming added that he understood why Jimenez’s cohorts didn’t want him to crash their party. As for Jimenez? He’s not so sure that Fleming’s timing was a mere coincidence.
“It was dark out, and I know I’ve knocked on thousands of doors and you rarely go out at night,” Jimenez told Fly. “So he was knocking on doors at night at the exact house.”
“I think he’s a little silly,” the D2 councilor said in a phone call Tuesday, “and actively trying to just create a little dysfunction.”