Former state Assemblymember Nora Campos is leading the contested race to represent East San Jose, but Santa Clara County Board of Education President Peter Ortiz is following behind.
In the first round of results released by the Registrar of Voters, Campos held the lead with 32.65% of the vote. Ortiz has 21.38% of the vote.
The other three candidates, small business owner HG “Hang Giao” Nguyen, Alum Rock Union School District Board President Andres Quintero and San Jose Planning Commissioner Rolando Bonilla, are trailing with 19.01%, 13.66% and 13.31% of the vote, respectively.
Campos is confident in advancing to the November election.
“I’m honored that voters in D5 believe in my platforms,” she told thecupertinodigest.com. “It feels good to be in the top two.”
Ortiz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Election 2022: The race for San Jose City Council District 5
With Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco terming out at the end of this year, longtime community leaders and politicos have jumped in the race to represent some of the most vulnerable populations in San Jose. The district includes the Alum Rock area with Mabury Road outlining its northern boundary and Reid-Hillview Airport to its southern border.
After last year’s redistricting process redrew political boundaries, District 5 in East San Jose is home to more than 100,000 people—with roughly 40.5% of voters being Latino and 38.2% Asian.
Campos, a Democrat running for her old seat, has endorsements from South Bay Labor Council and state Sen. Dave Cortese. She previously served on the City Council between 2001 and 2010. Campos, 56, wants to see more resources for small businesses, more police on East San Jose streets, more housing and more city officials who could help streamline those efforts. She has raised $102,284 as of May.
Ortiz, 32, wants to address the thinly-staffed police department, growing homelessness crisis and rising cost of housing. Ortiz saw his criminal history dug up during this election, though he did not face backlash like Bonilla did with the resurfacing of 20-year-old allegations of domestic abuse. Ortiz, a Democratic candidate, has the support of state Sen. Bob Wieckowski, former state Sen. Jim Beall and South Bay Labor Council, which has spent money to boost his campaign. He has brought in $69,470 in contributions.
Bonilla said the first round of results, which place him in last place, are to be expected.
“(Others) have the name recognition,” he told thecupertinodigest.com. “If this is the fourth or fifth round, it’d be a different story. We knew this is going to be a long fight.”
San Jose Planning Commissioner and District 5 City Council candidate Rolando Bonilla speaks with supporters at an election night campaign party. Photo by Tran Nguyen.
Bonilla, a Democrat, said the most consequential city policy is the budget. He calls for more police and more homeless services in the area. The 44-year-old candidate has been at the center of controversy this election. He has the support of state Sen. Josh Becker and San Jose Councilmembers Sergio Jimenez and David Cohen. Bonilla has raised $170,753 and contended with a negative ad campaign funded by labor unions.
Nguyen, a community leader of many years, puts families on the East side at the center of her campaign. She produces a popular Vietnamese radio show and has the support of Nguyen Khac Binh, major general of the armed forces of the former Republic of Vietnam, and retired Lt. Col. John Swensson. She has raised roughly $9,736.
Quintero, an Alum Rock Union School District trustee for a decade, wants to address public safety, quality of life and housing. He has endorsements from Assemblymembers Evan Low and Marc Berman, Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen and Supervisor Cindy Chavez. Quintero, a Democrat, has raised $58,195 to support his campaign.
Contact Tran Nguyen at email@example.com or follow @nguyenntrann on Twitter.
Editor’s Note: Perla Rodriguez, spouse of District 5 candidate Rolando Bonilla, sits on thecupertinodigest.com’s board of directors.
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