By Robert Haugh
In this month’s ranking, everyone moved. It’s like of a political game of musical chairs.
We see some candidates spending more time in Santa Clara lately. That’s a good thing for Mission City voters. We also think the extra activity is related to a poll that was done sometime around 60 days ago. Word must be getting around that Santa Clara is up for grabs.
Here’s the latest rankings:
#1. Susan Ellenberg, San Jose Unified School District Board of Education President
Ellenberg moves from 3rd place last month to the top slot based partially on her appearances in Santa Clara. She reports that she was at the Soroptimist International meeting, the Mission City Community Fund Gala, the Santa Clara Democratic Club holiday party and toured the Santa Clara High School Wellness Center. We also noticed that her campaign dropped a nice mailer to voters in the district. Ellenberg must be trying to solidify her base early. Smart move. She’s also picking up some new endorsements, but no major Santa Clara names. Ellenberg also says that her campaign has begun precinct walking.
#2. Pierluigi Oliverio, former San Jose Councilman
Last month’s frontrunner drops down a slot because of Ellenberg’s rise. We still think he’s a strong bet to make the runoff. Oliverio was in Santa Clara a lot, too. He attended the Wilcox vs Santa Clara Mission City Bowl football game, the YWCA luncheon at the Santa Clara Convention Center, the Holiday tree lighting, the historic home tour and Bethlehem Santa Clara. Oliverio has been busy writing opinion pieces and letters to the editor about issues relevant to the County Supervisors’ role, like he did in the Fall on mental health treatment.
#3. Don Rocha, San Jose Councilman
Rocha is also a strong candidate to make the runoff but drops down a slot from #2 last month primarily because we haven’t seen him in Santa Clara recently. But he’s keeping his name visible with a recent Mercury News opinion piece about the need to plan for growth.
We thought this was an interesting line: “The city where I serve has recently had friction with its neighbors over new development projects along our borders.” Translation: San Jose doesn’t know how to play nice with other cities. But if we keep losing lawsuits to Santa Clara, we may learn quickly.
(Note to Don: we know you can’t write that now; but if you’re a Supervisor, you can.) Rocha also tells us that he’ll raise the $250,000 contribution max by December 31 and will “hit the doors” in January.
#4. Dominic Caserta, Santa Clara Vice Mayor
Caserta moves up this month from last place. But we still think he’s unlikely to do well in the June primary or make the runoff. He recently lost the endorsement of councilwoman Teresa O’Neill. That’s a big blow. We hear that O’Neill pulled her support after Caserta’s numerous outbursts at council meetings which we (and YouTube) have documented a few times: here, here, and here.
Caserta has now lost the majority of his council colleagues support because of his behavior and temperament. That’s bad news. On the bright side, Caserta is campaigning and walking precincts regularly and was the first to raise the maximum amount of money.
#5. Jason Baker, former Campbell Mayor
Baker did not report any information by our deadline so we had to move him down a slot. He did attend some Santa Clara events, such as the Mission City Community Fund gala.
Editor’s Note: We got tipped from some of our loyal readers to the poll that was done about two months ago. Interestingly, there were some questions about the 49ers and the curfew in there. We expect more polling to happen in early 2018 so if you get called, let us know.
Editor’s Note 2: at 3 p.m., we updated this article with minor corrections. Susan Ellenberg is the President of the San Jose Unified School District Board of Education and sent her mailer to all voters in the District.