SAN JOSE (KCBS) – With Election Day less than three weeks away, battle lines are being drawn between business and labor in three key San Jose City Council races. The outcome of those elections could shift the balance of power as both sides have spent a considerable amount of money in this year’s campaign.

San Jose State University Professor and Political Analyst Larry Gerston says labor has been losing ground ever since Chuck Reed was elected Mayor in 2006.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“The issue of the City Council in San Jose is that labor and business are fairly evenly divided. They’re up against a mayor who tends to side with business. So for labor, some of these races in San Jose are very critical because they feel they may lose what leverage they have,” said Gerston.

Labor has also been fighting hard against two measures on the ballot that would limit the use of outside arbitrators in determining contracts for police and fire and creating a two-tiered pension system for new hires.

The race for a seat on City Council in District 9 is being contested by 65-year-old conservative Republican Larry Pegram, who has been adamant about taking on San Jose’s public employee unions, and Don Rocha, a 42-year-old moderate Democrat who enjoys backing from the South Bay Labor Council.

Gerston says the other key races are for Districts 5 and 9 and adds that the face of the San Jose City Council could be very different depending on how those three races turn out on November 2nd.

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