SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Tuesday’s primary election will decide the top voter-getters for a new San Jose mayor as Mayor Chuck Reed ends his eight-year tenure.
The contest to replace termed-out Reed is pitting City Council members Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, Pierluigi Oliverio, Rose Herrera and Sam Liccardo against Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and three lesser-known candidates.
Nguyen, who represents District 7, and District 3 Councilman Liccardo are giving up their seats in their efforts to become mayor.
Oliverio, of District 6 and Herrera, of District 8, are not up for re-election.
Liccardo, a former prosecutor, said his top priorities are cutting wasteful spending, reforming city employee pensions to save funds to hire 200 more police officers, improving response times to medical emergencies, repairing roads, reducing homelessness and lengthening school days in San Jose.
Cortese, a former San Jose councilman, said he would approach his top issue—public safety—with a “three point plan” of strengthening police patrols, suppressing street gangs and “bringing residents, businesses and schools together” to resolve problems. He also advocates city-run homework centers and reading programs.
Nguyen wants to promote safer schools and neighborhoods, re-establish the San Jose police’s burglary unit, repair city streets and sidewalks, speed up the city’s permitting process for businesses and create a Mayor’s Business Advocate position to help oversee business projects.
Oliverio bills himself as an independent, who does not accept endorsements from corporations, labor unions or other special interests. He said is for reforming city pensions, reducing speed limits around schools and facilitating the development of trails in the city.
Herrera said she is a long-time advocate for women’s rights, running on her record of favoring city pension reform, protecting public services, making it easier for businesses to locate to San Jose and saving funding for transportation projects that were threatened by cutbacks.
Other candidates in the mayor’s race who are not elected officials include Mike Alvarado, Bill Chew and Timothy Harrison.
Alvarado, who refers to himself as a “worker” on the city ballot, includes as his main issues restoring funding and pay levels for city police and fire employees and doing more for education, job creation and business growth. He said that he does not accept any campaign donations and instead favors “publicly funded elections or campaigns with tiny budgets.”
Chew described himself on the ballot as a fitness consultant and Harrison billed himself as a quality assurance representative.
In the mayoral contest, the biggest campaign spenders are Liccardo and Cortese, according to the latest required state expenditure reports filed with the San Jose City Clerk’s office.
Neighbors of Sam Liccardo for Mayor 2014 had spent more than $602,729 as of May 17, and a separate officeholder committee, called Citizens for a Safe & Strong San Jose, Supporting Liccardo for Mayor 2014, spent another nearly $207,347 as of that date.
The Dave Cortese for Mayor 2014 campaign had spent more than $425,509 as of May 17, but a labor union group supporting him, the South Bay Labor Council Committee on Political Education, spent $148,786 for his campaign effort as of May 24.
After the votes are tallied in Tuesday’s primary race for mayor, if no one candidate garners a majority, the two candidates with the most votes will face one other in a run-off election in November.
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