Madison Nguyen’s third place finish in the San Jose mayor’s race hasn’t left her completely in the cold. While she didn’t make the runoff, an interesting recruitment dynamic is now taking shape. Nguyen, who will term out of her council and vice mayor position at the end of this year, is the top remaining endorsement prospect for Dave Cortese and Sam Liccardo, who finished first and second in the mayoral primary, respectively. Both men have reached out to Nguyen, but she’s playing her cards close for the time being. There’s speculation that Nguyen could throw her support behind Cortese’s bid in exchange for his support if she runs for his county Board of Supervisors seat in a special election next year—assuming he wins. But that’s hogwash, according to political knowitalls, who say Cortese would never turn his back on the (labor) family. Sources tell Fly that state Assemblymember Nora Campos, a Cortese ally, was telling other candidates in this past election cycle that she’d only endorse them in exchange for supporting her future run for Cortese’s still-warm seat. That’s a long-view approach, and word is she’s been bundling big money to pass off to the local Democratic party and South Bay Labor Council, which can then support her with no expenditure limits. Fly has also learned that county supe Cindy Chavez has already been warning people that Cortese’s seat is fated for Campos. If everything holds then, a reunion between Nguyen and labor seems like a stretch, leaving her with the resigned task of backing fellow Measure B advocate Liccardo. But timing is everything, and the urgency to get Nguyen’s support is real. Her supporters included a coveted block of Vietnamese voters, who often vote for individuals over issues. Word is Liccardo, known for his in-n’-out public appearances, will need to give more than lip service to gain Nguyen—and her backers’—support sooner than later.