Dave Cortese Concedes San Jose Mayor’s Race to Sam Liccardo

Dave Cortese told supporters in an email Monday evening that it’s “time to move on,” acknowledging that he finished second to Sam Liccardo in the San Jose mayor’s race. Liccardo confirmed in a text message to San Jose Inside that Cortese called him to concede.

In his statement, Cortese, a county supervisor, said that his campaign may have fallen short of getting him into office but succeeded in its broader mission.

“While I was certainly in this race to win, in a larger context my duty was ultimately to carry the torch for a new conversation at City Hall, standing for equity and fair play,” Cortese said. “That was my job and I did it—we did it. For that we can claim victory.”

The email statement added that Cortese’s campaign “missed a majority by less than a 1.08 % margin, which clearly means our message was heard by voters.” The website for the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, which has been under scrutiny as results are tabulated, currently has Liccardo holding a 2-percent lead, or 3,479-vote advantage.

Cortese said he will continue to “be the best public servant I can be, regardless of the role.”

Word of Cortese bowing out of the race began to spread Monday afternoon, and it is believed the supervisor’s sister, Mary Liz Cortese, who works for KGO radio, first reported the decision in a tweet sent out at 4:30pm Monday.

The language in Cortese’s email appears to temper any expectations of a review by the Secretary of State’s office, which was requested by ROV Shannon Bushey following the resignation of the office’s IT director a day before the election.

“There has been some speculation about the handling of ballots in this election,” Cortese said. “I have full faith in the abilities of the Registrar of Voters, who has, as a department, called for an audit to ensure the integrity of the process. We have had members of our campaign at the ROV serving as monitors as votes were being counted, but we will not be taking any active role in the audit process. It’s time to move on.”

Below is the full email Cortese’s campaign sent out to supporters Monday evening:

First, thank you for the role you played in helping us mount a campaign where thousands came together, calling for a new culture at City Hall. Thanks to our efforts, I’m confident that you will see a more conciliatory approach by the City’s new leadership than we would have seen had our voices been absent from this election.

Out of respect to our supporters and the voters, we have waited until the final outcome was clear and all mail ballots have been counted before putting out this statement. We missed a majority by less than a 1.08 % margin, which clearly means our message was heard by voters. While I was certainly in this race to win, in a larger context my duty was ultimately to carry the torch for a new conversation at City Hall, standing for equity and fair play. That was my job and I did it—we did it. For that we can claim victory.

There has been some speculation about the handling of ballots in this election. I have full faith in the abilities of the Registrar of Voters, who has, as a department, called for an audit to ensure the integrity of the process. We have had members of our campaign at the ROV serving as monitors as votes were being counted, but we will not be taking any active role in the audit process. It’s time to move on.

This campaign was about bringing San Jose together and we have done that. Let’s keep the momentum going! I invite you to ask yourself what you can do as an individual or in your neighborhood, faith community, or workplace to help create a community that works for everyone. I’ve called my opponent to congratulate him and let him know I’d like to work together. I hope you will do the same.

As for me, my primary mission is to be the best public servant I can be, regardless of the role. I continue to be blessed with that opportunity, serving the residents of Santa Clara County on the Board of Supervisors, where I will persist in striving to give voice to the voiceless, to move people out of poverty, to ensure taxpayer dollars are invested wisely, and to see to it that local government works for everybody.

As always, I am here for you and would love to hear from you. Please contact me at [email protected] or 408-299-5030 if there is anything I or my office can do for you. It’s a joy to be your partner in making this Valley one of the best places in the world to be.

Gratefully,

Dave Cortese

16 Comments

  1. Classy concession by one of San Jose’s finest public servants. Although, I disagree with some of his politics, he is the man in the arena and I wish him all the best personally and professionally.

    • SJC is this really you? After going back and tallying up the number of pre-election posts someone using the SJC handle made trying to make “Cortese” synonymous with “corruption” i’m not sure.

      • The election is over…and all rhetoric thrown around on both sides always gets heated. This is how politics at all levels works – rightly or wrongly. The only good thing I had to say about McCain in 2008 election was his gracious election speech. You accused Sam of being a Reed clone, but you have said that with the incorrect assumption that when someone ascends to the top job that they may get an idea of the complete picture and handle things differently. Liccardo was a strategic ally of Reed as Cortese was an ally of Campos and as you paired Reed Liccardo together, I put Cortese endorsement of Xavier as an unexplained liability – nature of election that is finally over.

  2. What a bunch of BS. Cortese is a loser & always will be. He does a lousy job and is a lousy supervisor. His record is the only thing you need to research to verify he is full of it.

    • Biggest loser is you if you really life in San Jose. You got what you wished for another 2 hell years and public safety leaving by the bus loads. I wish you well. This city will not recover for years to come.

      • Insideman, no need to kick a man when he is down. If it was Cortese who won by 2 pct. Id be hoping all San Joseans could get behind him. However, now that he is conceded, I will only wish him well and hope he and Sam could work together on issues where that is possible. Lets keep it classy.

      • …and as an added bonus Proposition 47. I sure hope Sam is busy writing up plan to deal with it.

  3. There are several reasons that campaigners refer to their opponent as “my opponent”, rather than by name. But once one’s opponent has been declared the winner, it is highly disrespectful not to refer to him or her by name.

  4. Agreed. And the other thing Cortese needs to do, fix the dept of which he is head, County Registrar. Their performance continues to be a trainwreck. Other Bay area counties provided election results much faster. We voted to increase sales tax for the county. Why can’t they use some of this money to create functioning and efficient election services.

  5. A race people havent been talking about Tam Nguyen v. Maya Esparza…wasnt it 55-45 prior to mail-in votes being tabulated and its under 51-49 now. Very important election.

  6. Same old political BS with both candidate’s both say they have an open door policy. Good luck getting a meet and greet with them, but if your affiliated with labor you move to the head of the line.