Council candidates Steve Brown and Sergio Jimenez are diametrically opposed on just about every issue—aside from their belief that crime is the city’s biggest problem and that it’s time to move on from the pension reform acrimony of recent years. Both men come from humble, if not hardscrabble, beginnings, and these origins led them to develop vastly different views of the world.
Brown is a Republican who says he still hasn’t made up his mind on Donald Trump. He founded a private security business and counts almost entirely men among his endorsers, including pastors, local MMA fighters and former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed. In addition to using terms like “imperialist and elitist” when discussing his distaste for rent control, Brown seems uncomfortably sure of his positions, including the stance that business owners should have the right to refuse service to customers they suspect are LGBTQ. He has done admirable work helping the homeless and troubled kids, and it seems like this would be an area of strength if elected.
Jimenez is a down-the-line union Democrat whose knowledge of local issues dates only a little further back than his campaign. He works as an investigator for the Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office and says he has moved on from youthful indiscretions that included a few run-ins with the law and declaring bankruptcy. At the very least, he seems to know what he doesn’t know and is open to learning more about the issues.
The candidates split on issues such as rent control (Jimenez supports, Brown opposes); Measure E (same); medical marijuana (same) and their votes will almost certainly go with whatever the South Bay Labor Council (Jimenez) or San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce (Brown) are championing.
At least District 2 will know what it’s getting.
San Jose Inside will be publishing endorsements and information on local races, ballot measures and state propositions throughout the rest of the week.