It was an election notable for its abysmal turnout and the number of scoundrels on the ballot. Accused bribe recipient and gun trafficker Leland Yee was losing his bid to become secretary of state but was still in the double digits. Convicted Neiman Marcus shoplifter Mary Hayashi pulled a respectable 20 percent of the first counted votes against Bob Wieckowski in Senate District 10, and yet still finished third. And suspected election stealer Xavier Campos managed to secure just one in three early votes.
The good gals were ahead. Magdalena Carrasco appeared to have pulled off a shocking upset Tuesday night by dethroning a sitting Campos, East Side’s councilman. She secured 54 percent of the vote in San Jose’s District 5 at deadline time. Failing to behead a monarch was Kevin Jensen. Despite scads of dough and a very nasty campaign, Sheriff Laurie Smith coasted towards a 60 percent victory.
Dave Cortese literally had his cake and ate it, too, as the county supervisor celebrated a birthday at Loft Bar and Bistro on the same night he led in the San Jose mayoral primary. Cortese tried to sound Obama-esque, calling the election “a move toward change.“ Staying on message, he lashed out against city hall’s “toxic atmosphere” and the “struggle for people in neighborhoods having trouble getting a [police] car to come out.”
Over at Dynasty Seafood restaurant on McLaughlin and Story, Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen threw what was probably the largest and most festive of the primary bashes. With husband Terry and 2-year-old daughter Olivia in tow, she clutched a red rose given to her by a supporter. Two points behind Sam Liccardo for second place, according to early returns, she called it “a privilege to run for mayor of San Jose, regardless of who wins.” The vice mayor said she was pleased with the tallies considering the Samster “raised double what I did.” (Nguyen was able to scrape together $477,000, by her estimate, not exactly pocket change.)
Pierluigi Oliverio had a quiet dinner at Santana Row’s Fogo de Chao and, in keeping with his independent ways, steered clear of the functions. Oliverio, who wrote his four mailers and, true to his tight-fisted philosophy, didn’t hire a consultant, said, “We ran a proud campaign, supported by normal everyday people who contributed to elect an independent-thinking mayor.” Councilmember Rose Herrera, who spent the previous two days in the hospital due to a virus, finished in a distant fifth.
Police unionista Raul Peralez celebrated a first-place finish for downtown’s council seat at the Labor Temple while business community darling Don Gagliardi sipped on a dark craft beer at ISObeers on Santa Clara St. Kathy Sutherland played it even lower key at home serving Casa Vicky’s comida, red and white wine and a few Modelos.
Kansen Chu surprised with more than a third of the vote in the Assembly District 25. Measure B supporters popped champagne moments after the first returns registered for the library parcel tax extension: a landslide victory, by initial counts.
Ro Khanna elbowed his way through a sweltering room packed out with supporters, many of whom who didn’t look old enough to vote, pausing every foot or two to proffer hugs and handshakes. Early returns had Khanna in the runoff with Rep. Mike Honda. Khanna took to the podium to deliver a heady speech about the “soul of America,” democratic ideals and “what really matters,” while Honda’s media team press released their spin that Honda had won the primary “decisively” in a “rejection” of Khanna.
UPDATE: The above election results held true—with slight variations in percentages—once the county Registrar of Voters tallied for votes from all precincts.
Other local races of note included:
- Evan Low and Chuck Page advancing in the Assembly District 28 race.
- Chappie Jones and Paul Fong advancing in the San Jose District 1 City Council race.
- Diane Ritchie and Matt Harris advancing in their judge’s race.
- Tam Nguyen and Maya Esparza advancing in the San Jose District 7 City Council race. Van Le finished a very close third to Esparza.
- Don Rocha holding on to his District 9 council seat.