With 58 percent of the ballots tallied Friday morning, Maya Esparza pulled ahead of incumbent Tam Nguyen in San Jose’s District 7 City Council race. In the latest count, Esparza led Nguyen by 129 votes with 6,152 over his 6,023.
With thousands more votes yet to be counted over the weekend, it’s a tenuous lead. Both candidates said they fully anticipated a close race and remain optimistic.
When the two ran for the same East Side seat in 2014, Nguyen edged out Esparza by just 200 votes. In the June primary, Esparza finished second in a field of seven candidates with just shy of 24 percent of the votes against Nguyen’s 31 percent.
Nguyen, who lost 128 votes since Thursday’s tally, said today that he still feels “very hopeful” about the outcome. Via text message, the councilor said he’s grateful for the “community love and support” and that he’s staying busy to take his mind off the race.
Like her opponent, Esparza said she went back to the grind after the polls closed Tuesday. As head of Destination: Home’s All the Way Home initiative to house homeless ex-military men and women, she’s been gearing up for Veterans Day.
“After election day, I went right back to work,” she said. “I’m leading a campaign on veterans homelessness, so this is a big weekend for us.”
The next round of election results is expected at 5pm today.