Lisa Gillmor Increases Lead In Santa Clara Mayor’s Race

By Robert Haugh

After Wednesday’s update from the Registrar of Voters, Mayor Lisa Gillmor increased her lead over Councilmember Anthony Becker.

She leads by 166 votes or 1.02 percent of the vote.  

An automatic recount happens if the vote is within .25 percent. Gillmor’s lead is currently 4 times greater than that threshold. 

Councilmembers Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy held big leads in their races against Larry McColloch and Christian Pellecchia, respectively.

As of yesterday, 51 percent of expected votes have been counted.

The Registrar will report the counting of more ballots today at 5 p.m.


  1. To Buchsher Alum. From the NYT.
    “ “It’s a really positive deal for our city,” said Lisa Gillmor, a former Council member and spokeswoman for the pro-stadium group Santa Clarans for Economic Progress. “We’re not taking anything from our general fund.”

  2. Who’s counting these votes? Monkeys?, Kindergarteners?… third world silicon valley.. 3 days and no official total for Mayor of Santa Clara

    • Maybe that’s because those doing the counting are actually carefully following a legal, disciplined process from policy guides instead of just winging it. It takes time to check for legal signatures, recent deaths, to reject duplicate ballots, deal with those who moved to potentially different districts just before the election, deal with ballots from US citizens in the military overseas, those who gained/lost the right to vote for various legal reasons like time in jail, deal with ballots that for some reason cannot be reliably read by a machine, provisional ballots, to organize data to speed up potential recounts, and many other special cases. The same ballots cast votes in many different jurisdictions, for local, county, state, federal and other districts, not just for the Santa Clara Council races.

      The mayor’s race is also way closer than in normal years. If one candidate had 70% of the votes, you would not care about getting the last ballot counted before being pretty confident about who would ultimately win. This year, that is much less certain in the race for mayor.

      I’m also frustrated that this takes so long but getting it done correctly is way more important than getting it done quickly. Let’s give the counters time to do their jobs well, in a way that will hold up to procedural challenges.

    • 451, sounds like a great title for a movie or book?
      Be a lot happier if it was 2001 instead.
      Burt Field

    • Burt,

      If the pattern holds then Gillmor will win by around 700 to 800 votes and with a 2 to 3% percentage lead.

      Will be interesting to see how the precincts break down but so far it looks like she is beating Becker in all but two precincts in his own district. Not a surprise to see that he is not strong on his home turf since it is not his home turf and he has only been a councilman for two years.

      Otherwise the districts he is winning in seem to mostly be in Chahal and Hardy’s districts which is to be expected since their reelections would bring out their supporters and there was over $2,000,000 in Forty Niner spending in those districts that were mostly anti Gillmor.

      Becker will run for reelection to council in two years and the Forty Niners will pay massively to get him reelected. Then in four years he will run for mayor again.

      And he will be the massive favorite. He will have had four more years on council and a council reelection to build up his profile. And Gillmor will be termed out with nobody on deck who can come remotely close in matching her name recognition and profile in the community.

      But four years is a long time and Becker has a petty mentality and losing this election might lead him to be very vindictively minded and show his bad side worse and too often.

  3. Reading JB Flake’s posts are much more painful than this election. He loves his own pompous sarcasm to the point of nauseam.

    I imagine he is a joy and pleasure to hang with.

  4. Good discussion for the most part sans James Rowen and his aliases. Let’s take them one by one.

    1. Voter turnout. Abysmally low in City of Santa Clara. Historically been that way since I moved to Santa Clara in early ‘90’s. At or near bottom of every SV city. Hence, my rule that only 7% pay attention to city issues. All else decided on name recognition.

    2. 49ers. Hardy, Jain, Chalal, Park, myself all opposed the stadium subsidy to a billionaire. Gillmor and Watabne were leading advocates for the subsidy from residents. Whatever. It passed 58% – 42%. No putting that genie back in the bottle. The wiser on the Council know it’s just damage control.

    3. 49ers redux. Pick and chose your battles. The City is in a $27Milliom deficit. The owners of the 49ers are billionaires. Who wins that battle? Up soon? The 49ers will demand residents pay for a Gawd awful remodel of stadium or threaten to relocate. That’s the NFL MO. It’s coming. Ssve your legal fees for that big one.

    4.Scandals. Ignore them. Happens every election. Everywhere. They invariably go nowhere. The focus must be on policy. Happy to see business tax approval as in Los Gatos and Palo Alto. That’s just good deliberative policy making. Recall lead by Burt Field and Teresa O’Neill? Look. Every City/District has whackos. Hell, they don’t even have statements of recall nor a lawyer for their recall. Ignore them. They don’t matter.

    5. At the end of the day. It’s just about what residents want. Make sure my garbage is picked up, my water and sewage works, pot holes fixed and you have the means to pay for it. That’s it! “Ethics” important to you? Well, that’s dialed in at age 6. Go to Church, Mosque, Temple, Synagogue. Read books.

    • “Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”
      Or better stated, Blah, Blah, Blah…..
      Lead is up to 250
      Trying to stay positive, it’s tough somedays, but I think this is me getting more mature.
      Burt Field

    • Blah, blah, blah. Go save San Jose, BJ. 49er money isn’t good there either!

    • Byron,

      I think it is safe to say that almost all of the commenters on this website remember the fight over Measure J very well. You say there is no putting the genie back in the bottle but you keep beating that dead horse for obviously political reasons because you always pretend by omission that Measure J was even more prominently backed and driven by Patty Mahan and John McLemore and Jamie Matthews and Dom Caserta and others. This all includes the people that brought Anthony Becker into Santa Clara politics and who have been his main backers unless I suppose the Forty Niners decided to spend millions of dollars to support him.

      Becker’s political godparents not only were principal backers of Measure J but he has also stated he voted for Measure J. He has also voted the Forty Niners way at every opportunity. When Santa Clara citizens go beyond civic duty and serve on a civil grand jury and release a report critical of his and other councilpeople’s ethically questionable behavior the Forty Niners attack them on his behalf. He joins the attack instead of defending his constituents. He assumes they are guilty of behaving unethically as grand jury members while talking nonsensically about how he has been “presumed guilty” when the matter in question is not a verdict or criminal matter but a civil grand jury report. He never has anything critical to say about the Forty Niners spending millions for him not even the weak feigned protestations of Raj Chahal. Only weak shrugging affirmations of rights conferred by Citizen’s United.

      But when it comes to Related spending a tiny fraction upon Gillmor he describes that as “what looks like a system of legalized bribery.”

      This is what many Santa Clarans were thinking about during this election Byron. Not Measure J.

      And for many Santa Clarans the damage that needs to be controlled is not damage from decisions already made but potential damage for decisions to be made in the future. The way that Becker and the Forty Niners have behaved suggests at least ethically questionable influence and to many it simply looks like quid pro quo corruption. So many Santa Clarans do not trust him and do not want him on council much less having him as mayor.

      Since you did not want the Forty Niners in Santa Clara in the first place and seem to consider them untrustworthy then you should want Gillmor to get reelected as mayor. She does not have power as the mayor to change decisions because the Forty Niner bloc has a 5-2 majority. But she can still serve as a watchdog in closed sessions of the stadium authority or city council regarding stadium matters. Without Gillmor to be witness there is only Watanabe.

      If you think there is a fight brewing in the future over remodeling demands and I think you are right then it is important for us to have a Forty Niner critic on the council and stadium authority.

      And I think you are wrong to dismiss concerns about ethics. I want my city officials to behave ethically especially when unethical behavior on their part might be bringing them corrupt self enrichment while shortchanging the people of Santa Clara of all they deserve from the stadium. Ethics in this matter is not an obscure principle that is only a concern for choir boys. It is about the bottom line of our city.

      It also matters for anyone who finds it embarrassing to see someone like Becker exaggerate stories of victimhood to defame people undeservedly and to use council meetings as a forum to prosecute his petty grievances.

    • The 49ers can threaten to relocate but have also signed a non-relocation agreement as part of the overall stadium contracts, so that may not be as simple as it sounds, even if they were serious about that.

  5. Beto O’Rourke to move to Sants Clars Rivermark and to run for Santa Clara City Council Jain and Becker to endorse

    • 250. Ps Chahal never was in the oposition. Chahal fought hard for the Northside Library against the Oversight Committee who also went after the 49ers.

    • Just moveSarah if you don’t like it and take the 49er 5 with you so you can all be happy and cuddle. Maybe Becker will share his MM pizza!

    • Sara,

      Neither of them has won or lost yet. I hope Gillmor wins but why would you be disappointed in her winning?

  6. I am so disappointed in the voters of Santa Clara….low turnout and so many bought what the niners tried to sell them. What has happened to our city??? The city council races were hard fought by two new members of the political scene and they did the best they could. There was no going against the millions paid by the niners (you know the money the others didn’t want)!!! So when Lisa is declared winner I will smile, but for now this is one disappointed and concerned Santa Clara resident.

    • I am also disappointed with the low voter turnout, especially with so much at stake. Perhaps we could look into making it compulsory to vote in Santa Clara. Those who choose not to participate would be fined or have city services withheld.

    • Debbie,

      I have been very disappointed in how they have been part of same bloc as the other three elected in 2020 but Chahal and Hardy were against Measure J. Even without the massive Forty Niners money behind them they woukd be strong favorites to win reelection because they are incumbents and they have been in community or city positions for many years.

      Pellecchia and especially McColloch were not really serious candidates. I would have been happy to see the Forty Niners spending rejected at the polls in their races but I have to admit also that I think that they just did not deserve to be elected over Chahal and Hardy.

    • Debbie,

      I think it may be the case that the turnout percentage reported so far is based on the number of ballots counted so far and that turnout percentage will go higher as more ballots are counted.

      I have seen estimates that voter turnout will be around sixty percent but right now the county site is showing thirty percent but that makes sense since only about fifty percent of expected ballots have been counted.

      Sixty percent is still low in general but not for America is not low for a midterm election without any high stakes national races or even state races to motivate voters.

    • Bucher Alum, you always seem to have a great perspective on recent Santa Clara issues. I am disappointed in your comments about Pellechnia and McColloch running against incumbents that are known Jed puppets. Would you rather that Chahal and Hardy just walked into a re-election with no opposition? After all that has come out in the grand jury report, they didn’t deserve to run unopposed.

      Thank you Christian and Larry for doing the right thing!

    • Barbara,

      I wish that Pellecchia and McColloch were stronger opponents for Hardy and Chahal.

      I do not view Chahal and Hardy the same way that I view Becker or even Park and Jain. I do not think that they are Forty Niner pawns though I do believe they have been acting like they are. And they have failed in providing a full and complete justification for some of the votes they have been part of.

      But McColloch was not a serious candidate talking about how he will focus and can bring in cash but with no specifics other than it would be his focus and that he has invented things that have supposedly brought in billions in revenue but no specifics on what that has to do with increasing a municipality’s revenue.

      Pellecchia never even said anything to indicate that he had any intention on standing up to the Forty Niners. He spoke more strongly about how he would bring civility to the council but beyond the fact that he did not supply specifics on this it never made any sense because he was running against Karen Hardy who I have never seen be uncivil in council meetings.

      I am glad that Chahal and Hardy were not reeelected unopposed. I am thankful to Pellecchia and McColloch for stepping up to the plate and running. I wish they were stronger candidates.

  7. Can the 49ers get their money back??? Jed should have spent it in Ohio for Tim Ryan. Yes Debartolo in Ohio lost it to JD Vance.

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