Monday, October 2, 2023

Sylvia Arenas leads in early results for Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1


Last updated 8 p.m.

San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas is leading the Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1 race, with former Councilmember Johnny Khamis coming close behind, early results shows.

Arenas held the lead with 29.85% of the vote. Khamis has 24.97% of the vote. The other candidates, Morgan Hill Mayor Rich Constantine, Santa Clara County Board of Education Trustee Claudia Rossi and longtime political staffer Denelle Fedor, are trailing with 20.70%, 19.38% and 5.10% of the vote, respectively.

“It’s still early—and I always approach early returns with a grain of salt—but I’m deeply honored to see these strong early returns,” Arenas told “Santa Clara families need someone who will always fight for them, and right now I’m hopeful to have that opportunity.”

Khamis did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

San Jose Councilmember Sylvia Arenas (center) on election night. Photo courtesy of Sylvia Arenas.

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Election 2022: The race for Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1

The newly drawn District 1 boundaries, adopted through a redistricting process last year, have been extended to include several San Jose neighborhoods such as Evergreen and Silver Creek. The district no longer has the conservative stronghold areas of Almaden Valley and Los Gatos in its borders. Local politicos see this as an opportunity for progressive candidates to take control of a seat held by conservative lawmakers since 1997.

As San Jose councilmember, Arenas, 49, champions a myriad of social services and policies including San Jose’s Family Friendly Initiative. She’s a Democrat with the support of Councilmembers Magdalena Carrasco, Maya Esparza, Raul Peralez, former Assemblymember Kansen Chu and two PACs. She has raised $135,180, campaign filings show.

Khamis, 53, termed out of his San Jose council seat in 2020. He moved to stay in the race after being drawn out in the redistricting process. He said he has plans to address homelessness, crime and budgetary issues. He has the support of San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, former Supervisor Don Gage and the Taxpayers Association of Silicon Valley. Khamis, who has raised $265,672 in this race, faced a robust negative campaign funded by labor unions days ahead of the election.

Constantine, 58, has plans to protect open space, expand health care access, build more affordable housing, conserve water and increase fire prevention. The Morgan Hill mayor, a Democrat, has the support of Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and former Congressman Mike Honda. He has raised $83,699.

Rossi, 54, is a longtime South Bay education leader and practitioner nurse. She wants to address equity and increase safety nets through health care prevention measures. The lifelong Democrat has endorsements from Supervisors Susan Ellenberg and Otto Lee, former Supervisor now state Sen. Dave Cortese and former state Sen. Jim Beall—as well as support from at least two PACs. She has raised $110,817 as of May.

Fedor, 52, is the only Republican in the race. She wants to prioritize solutions to homelessness, mental health programs, public safety, transportation and farmland preservation. She has raised $7,630 and has the support of East Side Union High School District Trustee Van Le and Evergreen Elementary School District Trustee Jim Zito.

The top two candidates vying for the District 1 seat will compete again in November, as Supervisor Mike Wasserman, who has held the position since 2010, terms out at the end of the year.

Contact Tran Nguyen at or follow @nguyenntrann on Twitter. 

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