County Sup Race Update:  Susan Ellenberg and Don Rocha

By Robert Haugh

It’s been a while since we’ve written about the race to succeed County Supervisor Ken Yeager. He can’t run again because of term limits.

The race just doesn’t seem as interesting since disgraced former Councilman Dominic Caserta dropped in mid-May. Caserta also resigned from the Council after numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations by his students.

But the voters have two good candidates to consider in the runoff: San Jose School Board President Susan Ellenberg and San Jose Councilman Don Rocha.

New Endorsements

Since the primary, Ellenberg landed San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Palo Alto Mayor and former County Supervisor Liz Kniss.  She also was endorsed by former Congressman Norm Mineta.

Rocha pulled in two Santa Clarans: Police Chief Mike Sellers and Councilwoman Teresa O’Neill. He also landed County Supervisor Cindy Chavez.

Santa Clara Activities

Ellenberg had a booth at the Art & Wine Festival both days. She will be attending the Mission City Community Fund Dinner on November 3. Santa Clara resident Sabra Diridon hosted a coffee for her. Ellenberg attended Santa Clara Unified School District board member Jodi Muirhead’s campaign event.

Ellenberg tells us: “I’ve walked dozens of precincts in Santa Clara and have enjoyed dotting the neighborhoods with bright pink and blue lawn signs.”  She said that her campaign team has a regular Monday lunch at Crepes Bistro on Washington Street. (Note to campaign staff: try the sweet works crepes) 

Rocha didn’t have any specific Santa Clara activities to report. But he did admit that “a significant amount of mail sent on my behalf so far.” These are coming from labor PACS who support Rocha. (Note to PACS: you’ve sent enough mail. How about sending us coupons for Crepes Bistro’s sweet works crepes?).


Ellenberg says she will continue to focus “on policies that champion all families and children.” But she’s also studying Santa Clara’s Casa Del Maestro teacher housing program. Ellenberg calls it  “the innovative model Santa Clara Unified put into place more than ten years ago, well ahead of the rest of the County.”

Rocha will continue to focus on housing affordability and homelessness; traffic/congestion and growth/development; and public safety. Rocha said, “I also feel I am at an advantage given my record of work on these matters versus my opponent whose elected experience as a school board member offers little to nothing on those issues facing our community and county most.”

For more information, here are the candidates’ websites:




  1. Rocha is for controlled growth based on his comments regarding San Jose’s Urban Villages. Ellenberg has ties to San Jose Chamber of Commerce (business interests).

    Final decision point for me was the recent proposal to tear down Leland High and Brete Hart in San Jose to build housing, on Ellenberg’s watch. It’s been framed as “teacher housing” but actually is not – it’s for staff and low income earners. Fine to do that, but at least present it to the public honestly. (It also doesn’t make sense to tear down a school just to rebuild it somewhere else.)

    I think Rocha will be more for the people. He has my vote.

  2. I believe so, both candidate has to focus in Education, the State of homelessness, Public Safety. Public Health care for everyone as know Universal Care for Santa Clara County. I have not overheard anything about focusing in create a Shelter just for women which can support it women in the streets. Most of the Aid Facilities are Men’s club so we have many work to do on it. Donald Rocha has to involve more in State of Homelessness and Susan more in Health care provided by the county. To become a Supervisor is a wonderful opportunity to show everyone what I can do for my own people in Santa Clara County solving all kind of issues in this particular county…………….Sincerely………… Ray P.

  3. I am more concerned about housing and people that have to live on the streets, There has to be someone who can help them. As for the housing , the rents are Atrocious. We need to concentrate on people that can’t afford to live in the new buildings that are going up. The rents go up , and the business’s are going away. This needs fixing.

  4. Why does Rocha continue to cancel Forums at the last minute using his Daughter as the reason he has to miss them. First its a confusion between him and his “wife” who is not his wife. Then it’s her soccer game as the reason. Fact check: The games don’t start for two hours AFTER the time of the forums. C’mon Don, face the constituents or concede you’re not the best person for the job!

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