With tens of thousands of homes in San Jose’s District 2, what are the chances that a candidate stumbles on his competitor’s campaign event while precinct-walking?
Whatever the odds, Jonathan Fleming says that’s exactly what happened on Nov. 6 while he was out spreading the gospel of his run for office in the south San Jose council district, which spans Santa Teresa, Coyote Valley and Monterey Road.
Fleming, a self-described fiscal conservative who’s challenging D2 Councilman Sergio Jimenez’s re-election bid in the March 2020 primary, says he encountered multiple residents who tipped him off about his rival’s campaign soiree taking place at a nearby house. The ex-neighborhood commissioner continued making his rounds as the sun set and—surprise, surprise!—stumbled upon the rumored shindig.
The host who opened the door initially insisted that Fleming come on in. But Maribel Villareal—Jimenez’s campaign manager—intercepted, suggesting that it would probably be best if Fleming came back some other time.
“I was laughing pretty hard when I left,” Fleming told Fly, “especially since I had no clue the event was even happening that night. It was just one of those random time, random place events and it was just pretty funny.”
Fleming added that he understood why Jimenez’s cohorts didn’t want him to crash their party. As for Jimenez? He’s not so sure that Fleming’s timing was a mere coincidence.
“It was dark out, and I know I’ve knocked on thousands of doors and you rarely go out at night,” Jimenez told Fly. “So he was knocking on doors at night at the exact house.”
“I think he’s a little silly,” the D2 councilor said in a phone call Tuesday, “and actively trying to just create a little dysfunction.”
Oh, lighten up Sergio! As if he would waste his time crashing your party. And as far as dysfunction goes – you hit the nail on the head!! D2 is very fortunate a candidate of Fleming’s integrity and drive will take on all of the issues in District 2 and renew our hope for a better future. It’s time for new and effective leadership in D2!
Jonathan Fleming when running for an unsuccessful San Jose CD-7 campaign last year created a transparency challenge a questionnaire of sorts for all then (7) candidates to answer. However, none did. Perhaps it is time for Jonathan to dig out the old transparency challenge once more. It should give a better insight into the candidate’s rationale and goals of being a District Representative on the council. In other words, which candidate better aligns themselves with the way the voter feels and which candidate’s message best mirrors that of the voter’s wants, desires, and needs.
You are so right. Transparency is key. Those of us in D2 see little transparency in our district. Sergio continues to claim all sorts of good deeds but most are just city initiatives. D2 had been sold a bill of goods and very few of the issues important to the constituents have been addressed. Our district is “on fire”. We need someone who will do what is promised. If Jonathan comes on board, at least there will be actions and solutions toward what is needed instead of fluffy projects that leave the worst issues unaddressed. One of my biggest regrets was voting for Sergio. I did so because I felt he was unfairly treated during the campaign. I certainly won’t fall for that again. Now I know how he works (if you can call it work).
I bet Fleming crashed the event on purpose, and if he did that was not a cool thing to do, but even if he did, Jimenez just looks bitter calling an opponent “silly” and casting aspersions that can’t be substantiated. I’m not a comms professional, but I think the right call would have been to laugh it off (display confidence), note the suspicious circumstances in passing (allow audience to draw their own conclusions on Fleming), and end on your campaign message (use every opportunity to push your message). I think Jimenez could have won this round had he done that, but given how things shook out, I’m giving this one to Fleming for getting under Jimenez’ skin and making the incumbent look resentful of his challenge.