San Jose, California municipal elections, 2014

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The city of San Jose, California held nonpartisan elections for mayor and city council on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on June 3, 2014. In any race where a candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, they were declared elected and are not required to run on November 4.[1] This happened in District 5, where Magdalena Carrasco defeated incumbent Xavier Campos, and District 9, where incumbent Donald Rocha defeated Lois Wilco-Owens.

In total, six of San Jose's eleven council seats, including the mayor's, were scheduled for elections in November 2014. But due to outright primary victories in districts 5 and 9 in June, only four seats were up for election in the November 4 general elections. These included the mayor and districts 1, 3 and 7. All four were open seats, meaning that no incumbent ran for re-election.

Transportation and pension reform were some of the key issues that shaped San Jose's 2014 election cycle.

Mayor

Candidate list

Note: Incumbent Chuck Reed did not run for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

Election results

Primary election

San Jose Mayoral Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDave Cortese 33.7% 43,887
Green check mark transparent.pngSam Liccardo 25.8% 33,521
Pierluigi Oliverio 10.1% 13,197
Bill Chew 1.2% 1,563
Timothy Harrison 1.3% 1,715
Rose Herrera 6.1% 7,950
Michael Alfred Alvarado 1.5% 1,959
Madison Nguyen 20.3% 26,365
Total Votes 130,157
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters - Official 2014 Primary Election Results

Polling

2014 Mayor of Washington, D.C.
Poll Dave Cortese Sam LiccardoUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Survey and Policy Research Institute at San Jose State University
(October 12-16, 2014)
34%26%40%+/-4.1571
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

City council

Candidate list

District 1

Note: Incumbent Pete Constant did not run re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

District 3

Note: Incumbent Sam Liccardo did not run for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

District 5

June 3 Primary election candidates:

District 7

Note: Incumbent Madison Nguyen did not run for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 General election candidates:

District 9

June 3 Primary election candidates:

Election results

Primary election

San Jose City Council District 1 Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngPaul Fong 29% 3,575
Green check mark transparent.pngCharles Jones 22.8% 2,805
Richard A. McCoy 5.5% 677
Susan Marsland 17% 2,096
Tim Gildersleeve 1.2% 153
Art Zimmermann 7% 863
Bob Levy 17.4% 2,142
Total Votes 12,311
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters - Official 2014 Primary Election Results
San Jose City Council District 3 Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngRaul Peralez 27.7% 2,493
Green check mark transparent.pngDon Gagliardi 24.2% 2,179
Mauricio Mejia, Jr. 8.2% 737
George Kleidon 11.8% 1,061
John Hosmon 5.7% 510
Kathy Sutherland 22.3% 2,008
Total Votes 8,988
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters - Official 2014 Primary Election Results
San Jose City Council District 5 Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngMagdalena Carrasco 53.1% 4,369
Xavier Campos Incumbent 33.4% 2,744
Aaron Resendez 13.5% 1,108
Total Votes 8,221
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters - Official 2014 Primary Election Results
San Jose City Council District 7 Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngTam Nguyen 31.1% 3,270
Green check mark transparent.pngMaya Esparza 29.3% 3,083
Van Le 26.9% 2,826
Buu Thai 12.7% 1,339
Total Votes 10,518
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters - Official 2014 Primary Election Results
San Jose City Council District 9 Primary Election, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDonald Rocha Incumbent 74.5% 11,137
Lois Wilco-Owens 25.5% 3,813
Total Votes 14,950
Source: Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters - Official 2014 Primary Election Results

Issues

Transportation

Because of the city's growing population and outward expansion, transportation was a major issue in San Jose's 2014 elections.[2] The conversation focused predominantly on the extension of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system to downtown San Jose. The Bay Area Rapid Transit system, or BART, is a rail and subway system that services the San Francisco Bay area. At the time of the 2014 election, plans were underway to extend BART into San Jose with stations scheduled to open up downtown in 2018.[3] City council member and mayoral candidate Sam Liccardo was a strong supporter of the BART extension, saying "I am absolutely committed to getting BART all the way through downtown and beyond ... This is going to be a critical asset for our region and for our city. This is going to enable so many people to be able to get to work and, perhaps most importantly, to enable employers to be in San José, knowing that workers can get to them." Liccardo's opponent, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, while a supporter of the extension, voiced some reservations, citing unfinished transportation projects such as a light rail system in eastern San Jose.[4]

The transportation issue has also involved discussions of bike lanes. Liccardo pushed city council to create more bike lanes, while Cortese argued that bike lanes would only worsen the problem of congested traffic areas.[2]

Pension reform

Arguably, the most dominant election issue in San Jose's mayoral race was pension reform. Between 2001 and 2012, the city's annual pension payments rose from $73 million to $245 million. As Ballotpedia's Brittany Clingen reported in October 2013, this amounts to twenty-seven percent of the city's general fund budget.[5] To address this problem, on June 5, 2012, San Jose voters approved a controversial ballot measure known as "Measure B." The measure increased employee contributions, established pension costs and benefit limitations for new employees, modified disability retirement procedures and suspended retiree cost of living adjustments in times of emergencies.[6] Mayor Chuck Reed supported the measure, despite staunch resistance from city unions - especially the city's police union. The controversy over Measure B eventually made it way to the courts in 2012, after city unions announced their intentions to proceed with a legal challenge.[7]

San Jose's mayoral candidates were sharply divided on the issue. Candidate Dave Cortese, backed by the city's unions, campaigned against Measure B. Conversely, Cortese's challenger and current city council member, Sam Liccardo, campaigned in favor of the measure, thereby earning him the support of term-limited Mayor Reed and much of the local business community.[8]

A report by San Jose Mercury News showed that the debate over Measure B played out not only in campaign messaging but also in campaign spending. As of early October, public unions were reported to have spent approximately $545,000 in support of Cortese, while local pro-business groups spent in the range of $350,000.[9]

For the full story on Measure B and San Jose's pension crisis, see Ballotpedia's coverage here.

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See also

External links

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