County Supervisor Rankings: 48 days Until the Primary Election

By Robert Haugh

In less than three weeks, absentee ballots will arrive for the June primary. Here are some keys endorsements made in the last month in the form of a quiz. Read the rankings for the answers.

Who received the endorsement of incumbent Supervisor Ken Yeager?

  1. No one.
  2. Everyone.
  3. Susan Ellenberg and Don Rocha (dual)
  4. Jason Baker and Dominic Caserta (dual)
  5. Pierluigi Oliverio and Pat Kolstad (dual)
  6. Jamie Matthews and Julio Fuentes (dual)

Who received the endorsement of former County Supervisor Rod Diridon, Sr. — the only Santa Claran to serve on the Board?

  1. Caserta
  2. Ellenberg
  3. Oliverio
  4. Rocha
  5. Baker
  6. Rod Diridon, Jr.

Who received the endorsement of the Silicon Valley Organization (SVO) — formerly known as San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

  1. Baker
  2. Rocha
  3. Caserta
  4. Ellenberg
  5. Oliverio
  6. ⚤ — formerly known as the singer Prince

#1.  Susan Ellenberg, San Jose Unified School District Board of Education President

Ellenberg stays on top of the rankings because she and Rocha picked up a dual endorsement from Yeager.

She also picked up the endorsement of Santa Clara vice mayor Kathy Watanabe and Diridon, Sr. That will help her a lot in the Mission City.

Ellenberg has the most quality endorsements in the race. She has done a particularly good job lining up past and present female elected officials.

She’s also been active in Santa Clara. We hear she was impressive in her visit to the Reclaiming Our Downtown group.

#2. Pierluigi Oliverio, former San Jose Councilman

Oliverio garnered one major endorsement recently from the SVO. With this endorsement and a possible independent expenditure, Oliverio has carved out the fiscal conservative vote for himself. That should get him into the runoff. Even though he’s a Democrat, he’s not really competing for local club endorsements.

Oliverio is making a good impression on Santa Clarans at the events he’s attending like the Old Quad residents meeting, Vanguard’s annual brunch and the farmers market.

#3. Don Rocha, San Jose Councilman

Rocha got half of Yeager’s endorsement. He also got half of Labor’s endorsement (with Caserta) earlier this year.  If Rocha, doesn’t make the run-off, we may look back and say this is the reason why. Two potentially strong endorsements didn’t fully back him and his campaign alone wasn’t enough.

But as of today,  Rocha is in a solid position. He’s kept his spending to a minimum and it looks like he has the most cash on hand going into the final stretch. He’s a strong third in the rankings and could make the runoff. But we’d like to see more of him in Santa Clara where he hasn’t made much of an impression so far and the city is up for grabs.

#4. Dominic Caserta, Santa Clara Councilman

Caserta got the sole endorsement of the Santa Clara Democratic Club recently which was expected since that’s a group he started. The Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers have made an independent expenditure on his behalf by buying ads in the Santa Clara Weekly and on the Mercury News website.

But we can’t see Caserta finishing in the top three because he’s done so poorly in his hometown. Because of his temperament, Caserta has antagonized and lost the majority of his council colleagues during the course of the campaign. Watanabe and Diridon, Sr.’s endorsements of Ellenberg drives home that point. Two rival campaigns tell us that they expect Caserta to be under 20 percent in Santa Clara. Wow. That would be weak.

#5. Jason Baker, former Campbell Mayor

Baker did pick up two good Mission City endorsements recently from former Mayor Judy Nadler and Councilmember Teresa O’Neill. He could do well in Santa Clara because he has some real family roots here.

But Baker’s base (Campbell) is in the smallest city in the district. We thought he would pick up some big name endorsements in San Jose and help him be competitive for the runoff.  But that hasn’t happened yet.

Santa Clara County Supervisor District 4 Candidates
Santa Clara County District 4 Candidates: Susan Ellenberg, Pierluigi Oliverio, Jason Baker, Dominic Caserta and Don Rocha.


  1. EBachman, Your statement that “Rocha is never in Santa Clara” is perplexing, since Don Rocha actually went knocking door to door recently. In fact, he’s the only candidate for any local position who has come to our door in the 20+ years we’ve lived in Santa Clara.

  2. Jesus! Just of endorsements should scare the heck out of any voter paying taxes in Santa Clara! We can certainly see who he is beholden to!

  3. Robert
    Respectfully, lots of facts are left out. Dominic has received a long list of endorsements, therefore he is at least making top 2 or 3, Rocha is never in Santa Clara while I give Ellenburg credit for being here. But it looks more like Dominic could make the top two. With the current cloud over PierreLuigi of sexual misconduct I do not see him making top 2.
    Despite differences will you please not report bias, and report the truth. You may not like him but be fair.
    we should be proud someone from Santa Clara is running for supervisor, if anyone else on the council was running I would support them too. I see lots of support here for him so I suspect he will win Santa Clara
    With that’s here is all his endorsements/accolades

    Teacher of the year (2x) Santa Clara High
    AFSCME, Local 57
    AFSCME, Local 101
    Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 265
    California Nurses Association
    Carpenters, Local 405
    City of Santa Clara Democratic Club
    Communication Workers of America, Local 9423
    Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association PAC
    International Brother of Electrical Workers, Local 332
    International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
    Ironworkers, Local 377
    Laborers, Local 270
    National Nurses United
    Roofers, Local 95
    San Benito and Santa Clara County Building & Trades Council
    Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee
    Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers Associatuion (SCCCPOA)
    Santa Clara County Democratic Party
    Santa Clara Firefighters Association, Local 1171
    Santa Clara Police Officers Association
    Santa Clara Public Safety Non-Sworn Employees Association
    Service Employees International, Local 521
    Service Employees International Union, Local 2015
    Sheet Metal Workers, Local 104
    Sign Display and Allied Crafts, Local 510
    Silicon Valley Stonewall Democrats
    Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices, Local 483
    South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
    Teamsters, Local 287
    Teamsters, Local 350
    UNITE HERE!, Local 19
    United Association, Local 393
    United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 5

    Marshall W. Anstandig, Mayor Monte Sereno
    Jim Ash, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Pat Castillo, Former Sunnyvale Mayor
    Dave DeLozier, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Vern Deto, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Rod Diridon, Jr, Former Santa Clara City Clerk
    Frank Fiscalini, Former San José Vice-Mayor
    Debbie Giordano, Former Milpitas Councilmember
    Armando Gomez, Former Milpitas Councilmember
    Gary E. Hansen, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Joe Head, Former San José Council Member
    John Howe, Former Sunnyvale Mayor
    Michael Kasperzak, Jr., Former Mountain View Councilmember
    Kathleen King, Former Saratoga Mayor
    Pat Kolstad, Santa Clara Councilmember
    Bob Livengood, Former Milpitas Councilmember
    Patricia Mahan, Santa Clara Councilmember
    Jamie Matthews, Former Santa Clara Mayor
    Larry Marsalli, Former Santa Clara Mayor
    John McLemore, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Kevin Moore, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Pat Sausedo, Former San José Councilmember
    Tony Spitaleri, Former Sunnyvale Mayor
    David Tobkin, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Jim Viso, Former Santa Clara Councilmember
    Don Von Raesfield, Retired Santa Clara City Manager & Former Councilmember
    Tony Alexander, Former Democratic Central Committee Member
    Joy Atkins, Former Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District
    Leon Beauchman, Former Board Member, Santa Clara County Board of Education
    Don Bordenave, Former Governing Board Member, Santa Clara Unified School District
    Jim Canova, Governing Board Member, Santa Clara Unified School District
    Steve Chessin, Democratic Central Committee Member
    Ken Dauber, Member, Palo Alto Unified School District
    Swanee Edwards, Democratic Central Committee Member
    Tony Estremera, Santa Clara Valley Water District
    Rich Garcia, Former Governing Board Member, San Jose Unified School District
    Albert Gonzales, Governing Board Member, Santa Clara Unified School District
    Darcie Green, Board Member, Santa Clara County Board of Education
    Sequoia Hall, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
    Nick Heimlich, Former Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District
    Nai Hsueh, Santa Clara Valley Water District
    Rosemary Kamei, Board Member, Santa Clara County Board of Education
    Anne Kepner, Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District
    Jack Lucas, Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District
    Pete ‘Primo’ McHugh, Former Santa Clara County Supervisor
    Bob Mendelsohn, Former San Francisco County Supervisor
    Roger Moore, Former Board Member, Campbell Elementary School District
    Robert Owens, Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District
    Paul Perotti, Former Superintendent, Santa Clara Unified School District
    Buck Polk, Former Trustee, West Valley-Mission Community College District
    Jeremy Ray, Board Member, Live Oak Elementary School District
    Richard P. Santos, Santa Clara Valley Water District

    Jerry Hill, CA State Senate District 13
    Kansen Chu, CA Assembly District 25
    Norman Y. Mineta, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation & U.S. Congress
    Mike Honda, Former U.S. Congress
    Tom Campbell, Former U.S. Congress
    Elaine Alquist, Former CA State Senate
    Nora Campos, Former CA Assembly
    Joe Coto, Former CA Assembly
    Jim Cunneen, Former CA Assembly
    Manny Diaz, Former CA Assembly
    Ted Rose, Former President, Public Employees, State of California

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