Dave Cortese came away with the official backing of county Democrats after every other San Jose mayoral candidate withdrew their application for the endorsement. The vote by the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee (DCC) came before Forrest Williams decided to drop out of the race. Williams then threw his support behind the county supervisor in his bid for mayor.
“As a lifelong Democrat, it meant a lot,” Cortese said. “I’m really pleased. Even though this is a nonpartisan office, their support means a lot.”
Every other Democrat in the mayor’s race opted out of the endorsement process after the DCC changed its bylaws to get a head start on campaigning. Normally, the committee waits until after the filing deadline in March, but the group wanted to get a head start on campaign coordinating. The DCC will vote on endorsements in other races closer to April, said DCC communications director David Cohen.
Endorsing Cortese means the DCC will rally volunteers for his campaign and send out mailers to registered Democrats naming him as the preferred candidate for mayor.
Cohen said he would have liked to see all the mayoral candidates at least try for the endorsement, even though there was a sense early on that it would go to Cortese.
“They decided that since they didn’t feel they were going to get it, they felt for publicity reasons they would not seek endorsement,” Cohen said.
Sam Liccardo announced that he wouldn’t seek the group’s backing because he felt it unethical that as an organization it doesn’t have to apply to the same city election rules governing individual candidates. Namely, expenditure limits and donation caps of $1,100.
Rose Herrera sent out a press release after last month’s DCC vote to change its endorsement schedule saying she wouldn’t put her name in the running. Pierluigi Oliverio and Madison Nguyen also opted out of endorsement process.