Labor Likely to Dual Endorse Caserta and Rocha in Supervisorial Race

By Robert Haugh

The South Bay Labor Council (SBLC) held its endorsement interview last Thursday. Their decision may be a surprise to some, but not to the loyal readers of this site.

Its executive committee will recommend both Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta and San Jose Councilman Don Rocha for County Supervisor, District 4, according to multiple sources close to the five supervisorial campaigns.  Last September, we wrote that this might happen.

Ben Field, Executive Officer of the SBLC,  would not confirm the recommendation yesterday. He said that the delegates who represent the SBLC’s 101 affiliates will meet in mid-February to make the official decision.  According to our sources, the delegates “rubber stamp” the executive committee’s recommendations.

Caserta thought he would get a sole endorsement from the SBLC, so this is potentially a major blow to his campaign. He has told numerous people that he expected labor’s endorsement because of what he’s done in Santa Clara to raise the minimum wage and pass a workers retention ordinance.

Even just last month, a Caserta “supporter” (who just happens to use a computer at the Santa Clara Unified School District during the school day)  posted this comment on Santa Clara News Online. It was in response to a previous column where we wrote that a dual endorsement from Labor was likely:

“Caserta will get the endorsement from Labor and make the runoff! In fact Labor money is going to Caserta clearly in this race! Caserta wins! Count on it!” 

Other interesting news that we’ve heard about the endorsement interviews:

  • Caserta criticized Rocha a lot during his interview for Rocha’s early pension votes in San Jose, six years ago.
  • Caserta was criticized for siding with the 49ers and Landmark Event Staffing over union workers just last year.
  • Former Campbell Mayor Jason Baker and San Jose Unified School District President Susan Ellenburg did not interview well.
  • Former San Jose City Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio ditched the SBLC interview. He’s likely to get support from the Silicon Valley Organization’s PAC or businesses linked to them, our sources say.

Our sources also say that if the SBLC makes a dual endorsement, individual unions are free to contribute to either Caserta or Rocha. But both candidates have raised the max allowed ($250,000). So has Ellenburg and Oliverio. So money won’t likely be a factor in this race.


But Labor can provide people power to a  campaign. SBLC volunteers will be asked to help both campaigns once they are officially endorsed.

Things are getting interesting in the Supervisorial race. So stay tuned.



  1. Interesting theory but I doubt it. Wonder which way the union cronies will go will they dual endorse also. Howabout the current sitting board, who will they endorse if the union dual endorses? Can’t see any of the happy to endorse Caserta only Rocha. I hate dual endorsements btw.

  2. For those of us that follow this race, it’s been weird that Don Rocha has not campaigned anywhere in his district. Meanwhile Caserta is being insanely opportunistic and attempting to recreate himself as the best friend Labor has ever had while kissing up to Ken Yeager to get his endorsement. Let’s face it, Caserta has never given a rip about Labor and absolutely pathetic when it comes to LGBT issues in Santa Clara or the county as a whole.

    Everything Caserta does is about himself. Rocha is all about governing and researching (too much) before he speaks. But even if Rocha is the best thing that has happened in San Jose, it will not translate well in the campaigns in Campbell and Santa Clara if he is not visible all over Campbell and Santa Clara.

    I’m no fan of Casserta as he has only supported whatever special interests appeal to his offshore bank account it seems.
    But we have to face the facts. Having this temper tantrum is only good for entertaining. It’s not been good for many Santa Clarans.
    (But the 49ers and developers must certainly LOVE Caserta!)

  3. If Caserta doesn’t make the runoff and decides to run for his old seat, then what? What if he decides to run against Lisa Gillmor? Things to keep in the back of our minds. Just sayin’…..

    • Willie- Excellent point. Voting for someone to get them off the Council isn’t a smart idea. If people don’t want him on the Council, then they shouldn’t help him become our new BOS! Don Rocha has my vote. He’s done a lot here for SJ in our district.

  4. I hope this does not negatively impact the Caserta for Supervisor campaign. I will be voting for Caserta IN THE PRIMARY. And I will be holding my nose as I vote. My goal is not to elect him Supervisor, but to get him off the council. You see, if he’s in the runoff, he must vacate his council seat. I double checked this with the City Clerk’s office. I will then gladly vote for the other candidate in November. Some of my neighbors think this is a good idea. But others can’t stomach the notion of voting for Caserta. I respect either choice and hope for the best possible outcome.

    • Ari- Seriously? You’re going to vote for him ONLY to get him off of the Council? That is crazy!

    • Ari- Voting for him to get him off of the Council will only help him win for BOS. That isn’t a smart idea. If he wins BOS because a bunch of you voted to get him off of the Council, we’ll be stuck with him as BOS, and that’s even worse!

  5. Whoa, baby. That’s a good scoop. It’s a major smack down on the Caserta campaign. They were telling everyone that they had Labor in the bag. Good to see Caserta get burned for doing transactional politics.

  6. Thanks for the information. The most important endorsements to me are those from the people who show that they care about Santa Clara. People like Lisa Gillmor, Kathy Watanabe, Debi Davis, Teresa O’Neill, Pat Kolstad, Will Kennedy, and Judy Nadler.

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