By Robert Haugh
Mayor Lisa Gillmor is running for re-election. She drew weak opposition and should be a shoo-in for another term. The vast majority of voters think the City is headed in the right direction according to recent city polling.
And Gillmor gets a big feather in her cap for a legal victory over the 49ers that was announced this weekend. In 2016, the 49ers tried to lower their own rent. Gillmor led the council to stop it. According to city staff, the difference is $180 million over 40 years. Wow. That’s a huge swing and mucho dinero. It’s also perfect timing for Gillmor’s campaign. (Note: We’ll write more after we go to a city hall press conference today).
Both Anthony Becker and Kevin Park pulled papers to run for Mayor. Becker turned his in. But, according to reliable sources, Park didn’t and is not running.
Becker lost a council bid in 2016. He then got appointed to the Planning Commission and pledged not to run for City Council. But after his appointment, he got the bug to run for something. He pulled papers for City Clerk on July 24, but withdrew his name on July 26 and pulled papers for Mayor. Because of his pledge, Becker may have trouble convincing voters that he’s trustworthy.
The heavy action will happen in this district. Here are the candidates:
Nancy Biagini — She’s on the Historical and Landmarks Commission. She was one of the finalists to fill disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta’s seat. But that was the night/early morning when Councilwoman Patty Mahan and Councilman Pat Kolstad decided they wouldn’t vote for anyone to prevent the seat from being filled.
Mario Bouza — He’s a Civil Service Commissioner who has run for city council before and lost. He did not apply for Caserta’s seat so he didn’t waste 6 hours at a council meeting and got to bed at a reasonable hour that night.
Raj Chahal — He’s a Planning Commissioner who lost his 2016 City Council bid. He did not apply for Caserta’s seat either. So he didn’t waste 6 hours at a council meeting and got to bed at a reasonable hour that night, too.
As of Friday, Karen Hardy is the only person to pull and file papers. She’s the current chair of the Citizens Advisory Commission. Because Kolstad is considered the incumbent in this district and he did not file to run for re-election, the deadline is automatically extended. We’ll find out if anyone else is running on Wednesday, August 15. Stay tuned. Word on the street is the 49ers are looking for a candidate. Hardy was a major stadium opponent.
This race has drawn a lot of candidates.
Four are newcomers — not having run for a city election before: Hosam Haggag, Thomas MacDevitt, Robert O’Keefe and Peta Roberts.
One candidate is not a new face: Chris Stampolis who wreaked havoc on the Santa Clara Unified School Board and is facing a major FPPC fine has pulled papers to run.
We’ll write more about these candidates and this race soon.