San Jose, California municipal elections, 2014

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The city of San Jose, California will hold elections for mayor and city council on November 4, 2014. The 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] Five seats are up for election.

Mayor

With San Jose's 2014 mayoral election rapidly approaching , major issues have already emerged. In the following discussion, Ballotpedia highlights what they are and breaks them down.

Transportation

With a growing population and outward expansion, getting from point A to point B conveniently has become a considerable problem for many San Jose residents. Consequently, the issue has become a focal point in the mayoral race.[2] The conversation has 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. Plans are currently 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 has gone on record as 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, has 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 has pushed city council to create more bike lanes, while Cortese has 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 is 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, 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. The lawsuit is currently ongoing.[7]

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

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

Candidate list

Note: Incumbent Chuck Reed is not running for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 Runoff election candidates:

City council

Candidate list

District 1

Note: Incumbent Pete Constant is not running for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 Runoff election candidates:

District 3

Note: Incumbent Sam Liccardo is not running for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 Runoff election candidates:

District 5

June 3 Primary election candidates:

District 7

Note: Incumbent Madison Nguyen is not running for re-election.

June 3 Primary election candidates:

November 4 Runoff election candidates:

District 9

June 3 Primary election candidates:

Recent news

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See also

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