SANTA CLARA (KCBS) — Gary Kremen, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of, won 51 percent of the vote on Tuesday night to gain a seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board.

Before winning, Kremen, 51, told KPIX 5 why he wanted the job that only pays about $30,000 a year.

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“I’m not doing this for economic reasons, unlike my opponent; I have other things to do. This is his only job so he’s living on his per meeting fee,” he said. “This is a board that has a thousand employees and a $400 million budget and there is no person with any business experience and there is no person with any technology experience.”

Kremen, outspent his opponent, incumbent Brian Schmidt, by a margin of 22 to one with his own money. As of Oct. 18, Kremen had spent $397,993 to Schmidt’s $17,229.

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The normally lackluster election was marked with personal attacks, including a talking mailer that highlighted Schmidt’s support of recycled water.

Kremen is also known for registering the domain name back in 1994. Two years later the domain name was fraudulently used by Stephen M. Cohen, who had profited millions of dollars through the property. Kremen was able to acquire some of the profits through court action.

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Kremen later sold for $15 million in cash and stock.