On the same day presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced he will release his 2011 tax returns, we take a look at how the remaining four candidates for two San Jose City Council seats made their money last year.
In the June primary we endorsed Rose Herrera and Robert Braunstein for San Jose City Council seats because they stood out from a field of candidates. As both races moved to runoffs, two surprise second-place finishers emerged: Johnny Khamis in District 10 and Jimmy Nguyen in District 8. We wanted to take a closer look at the second-place finishers before issuing our general election endorsements, and that opportunity came last month at the San Jose Downtown Association’s debate.
The last time we wrote about Johnny Khamis, who is running for a San Jose City Council seat against high school sportscaster Robert Braunstein, he called us racists for mentioning that he’s Palestinian and Braunstein is Jewish. For the record, Fly loves people of all races and religions, shapes and complexions. Khamis, however, thinks some Almaden voters could be Islamophobic, so he took the opportunity to announce he’s a Christian. But just how God-fearing is Khamis?
Edesa Bitbadal finished third in the District 10 San Jose City Council primary, just 90 votes short of second place and a spot in the November runoff. That race will feature Johnny Khamis and Robert Braunstein. But a look at how Bitbadal spent money, and how those who opposed her spent their money, paints an interesting picture.
Edesa Bitbadal says she has not decided if she will ask for a recount of the primary results for San Jose’s District 10 City Council seat. However, Bitbadal, a San Jose planning commissioner, did say several community leaders in Almaden have contacted her to do so and she will weigh her options this weekend. The deadline is Tuesday.
Some people can’t wait to start campaigning. Case in point: Leslie Reynolds, a District 10 City Council candidate in San Jose. On a hot summer day last August, Reynolds erected a booth at the “Grande-licious” event in Almaden put on by 95120 Magazine. Her booth included a banner declaring her intention to run for Nancy Pyle’s termed-out seat in 2012 as well as free glasses of lemonade featuring her campaign logo. (See Facebook for photos of the good family fun.) A couple months later, Reynolds says a friend of her son designed her sleek campaign website pro-bono. While Reynolds, a San Jose Unified school board member, says she has tried to comply with city rules by not accepting contributions until Dec. 9, that might not matter.