Count Continues in District 1 Supervisor’s Race

After a week of anticipation, the Santa Clara County Registrar’s Office still does not have a definitive answer for candidate for District 1 Supervisor Teresa Alvarado. Alvarado, who’s been trailing her opponent Forrest Williams since the June 8 election by fluctuating margins, spent much of the week attending county budget hearings at 70 West Hedding. Fly was seated nearby at Wednesday afternoon’s meeting when she received an email on her Blackberry saying the gap between her and Williams had shrunk to 32 votes. “Is that the last of it?” she whispered. “What the hell?”

That was not the last of it, nor is today’s update, released about an hour ago. Alvarado now trails Williams by 39 votes, with 11,731 to his 11,770 votes. Anton Nichols with the registrar’s office said that another update will come out on Monday, and speculated that there are still a couple thousand votes to go through. Alvarado’s camp was told there are still about 3,000 ballots left, an unknown number of which are from District 1. The count will determine who faces former Los Gatos Council member Mike Wasserman in the November run-off.

Should the final count reveal she’s lost by a razor thin margin, Alvarado may have to make the tricky decision on whether or not to ask for (and pay for) a recount. She said she and her team sat down on Thursday to talk about the options. According to her campaign consultant Jude Barry, past recounts have cost 75 cents to a dollar per ballot, so a recount could ring in at $40,000-60,000.

Update

Monday’s count update is in – Alvarado now trails by 70 votes. Campaign coordinator Gabriela Chavez-Lopez emailed to say that she’s been told there are 400 votes left to count, an estimated 100 of which are from District 1. Potentially, the update on Wednesday at 5 p.m. could be the last one. 

Meanwhile, Magdalena Carrasco in the District 5 City Council race quietly slipped past her closest rival Xavier Campos by three votes after Friday’s tally came in, but it was a fleeting victory. This afternoon’s count puts Carrasco back in second, trailing with 17 votes.

The Fly is a weekly column written by San Jose Inside staff that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

7 Comments

  1. This should be an interesting race for the fall.  Out of the 61,167 votes cast, the two San Jose based candidates combined still drew less than the 25,977 showing by Los Gatos’ Wasserman.

    Supervisor District 5, currently represented by former Gilroy Mayor Gage covers more land than the other 4 supervisor seats combined, but is apportioned to include an equal number of people.  Looking at the maps, it seems to include parts of San Jose council districts 10, 2 and 8…which will not have any contests on the fall ballot.

    The fall election should have a higher turnout, but no where near the Presidential election levels, so a come from behind victory is not unheard of (and its happened in local races before also where the first place finisher in a primary election loses the run-off.)  I believe Nancy Pyle came from a second place showing in the primary to win the general election for her first term on the council.

    It takes a lot of money and work to pull an upset win.  I don’t know whether either Williams or Alvarado have it in them, but expect either to receive the full support of the local labor and party apparatus to win this non-partisan seat for their partisan candidate who will then be qualified to later run for assembly or state senate.

    It might be worth cutting a deal rather than a recount and banking the goodwill towards a winnable seat in 2 years.  Uniting behind a slightly more qualified democrat and visibly helping him in the race will do more for Alvarado’s relatively new political career than a recount fight.

  2. Will Santa Clara County looking at years of budget deficits be better served by Alvarado, Wasserman or Williams?

    Based on past performance Wasserman is best candidate, Alvarado then Williams who seems lost when talking about important issues and budgets so takes always direction on how to vote from Chevez’s South Bay Labor

    Do taxpayers want Chevez as labor’s puppet master pulling strings by sending text messages to Williams voting puppet?

    • As of yesterday, Williams lead over Alvarado has increased to 70 votes.  At one point, she was just 26 votes behind, but with so few left to count, I think we can assume a Williams versus Wasserman November run-off.

      And I think we can safely assume a Wasserman victory.  I’m thinking one along the lines of a 63-37 margin.