- Update: Candidate Anthony Becker replied with a comment Thursday afternoon after he conceded the Santa Clara mayor’s race. It is included in this article.
While the vote count is not yet considered “official” by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, it looks like there is a winner in the race for mayor of Santa Clara. Anthony Becker has conceded and incumbent Lisa Gillmor has declared victory.
In a tweet sent out just before midnight on Nov. 16, Gillmor said, “I thank Santa Clarans who gave me their vote and sent a message that our city is not for sale. I am proud of our residents and hopeful about our future. But we can’t expect that by turning back a multi-million-dollar negative campaign, everything will suddenly be positive – or by defeating a multi-million-dollar special interest, the public interest will magically be served. We must remain steadfast if we want a city council that’s free from corruption and a city hall that operates transparently and ethically. As Mayor, I will continue to make sure the stadium lives up to its promise, that we have quality city services and safe neighborhoods. All these goals are possible if we work together to put our city’s interests first. Santa Clarans can count on me and I know I can count on them.”
On Thursday afternoon, Beckr sent a statement to The Weekly.
“I want to congratulate Mayor Gillmor on her election victory,” said Becker in a statement to The Weekly. “While this is not a mandate for either of us, her slim margin of victory is a victory. This poses a challenge for the Mayor, myself and the rest of the council because we are a city that is divided. It is going to take Mayor Gillmor, myself and the rest of the council to unite our city and focus on the quality of life issues that affect us all. It is time we put our people above the politics and that we abandon lies, misinformation and vendettas by focusing on the planning of not only the next four years but the next 40 years. Together we will provide better accountability, transparency and devotion to our community. Let this be a turning point and an opportunity to better not only ourselves but our community.”
According to the Registrar of Voters website update on Nov. 16 at 6:15 p.m., Gillmor had 14,376 votes to Becker’s 13,689. The margin is 687 votes.
The Registrar of Voters says while 19,000 ballots still need to be processed and there are some ballots that have been sent back out with challenged signatures (in some cases, a voter forgot to sign their mail-in ballot), a “majority” of the ballots have been counted.
While the count is considered “unofficial” until the election is certified by the Registrar of Voters, it is considered done. The county Registrar has until Dec. 8 to certify the election.
Although Becker has lost the race for Mayor, he will maintain his seat on the Santa Clara City Council.
He says that moving forward, his plan is to continue to serve the City and District 6.
“Running for mayor was a passionate and incredible journey,” said Becker. “It is an honor and a privilege to continue to serve this wonderful city.”
All of the City Council races were decided earlier, with Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy winning re-election in their respective districts.
The Mercury News article has this quote from Becker: “I will keep it brief. I concede today to Mayor Lisa Gillmor.”
It seems the Mercury News reporter got a verbal quotation from him since he has not tweeted anything from any of his Twitter accounts.
I am glad that Becker realized that he is sure to lose and especially that he did not challenge the election or vote count aside from last night remarking that the grand jury report swayed votes from him. As if his own behavior did not prompt the grand jury investigation and report. And as if the $2,500,000 the Forty Niners spent for him was not a massively larger outside influence on the election.
Becker lost most of the precincts in his own district to Gillmor and more precincts in Chahal and Hardy’s districts voted for him. A lot of the $2,000,000 the Forty Niners spent on them was actually focused on attacking Gillmor so the total the Forty Niners spent to promote Becker was even higher than $2,500,000.
If Becker will run again in four years I hope that in the meantime he tries to learn from Gillmor how to run a city council meeting and keep the business of the people moving. He and Kevin Park need to learn how to edit their thoughts and understand that city councilpeople are not on the dais to ramble about their personal opinions in an indulgent way for extended periods of time. Nor are council meetings the time and place to squabble with other councilpeople or members of the public making public statement.
It was good to see Gillmor and Watanabe vote with Becker and Hardy and Jain on approving the affordable housing project by city hall.
It was not good to see Gillmor press some of the more silly and less valid or pressing matters in the grand jury report last night.
It was also not good to see the council bloc of five fail to understand a central point to everything which Gillmor stressed a couple of times during the meeting: it is simply not okay for a city council bloc to hold dozens of meetings per year with a corporate special interest group with no transparency or oversight. They can and should have met with the special interest group as part of the stadium authority meetings on the public record in open or closed session with the full support of professional city staff.
The fact that some impractical recommendations are being made is due to their having behaved in a way that evaded existing best practices for transparent governance. When you exploit loopholes in the law then other people will seek to close those loopholes and that will be onerous to all. They could have avoided all of this very easily.
I appreciate the quote from the Mercury News. As you will note, I have updated the article with a direct comment from Mr. Becker. While I am happy to cite other sources, the Mercury News comment was not enough to warrant that and so I did not include it in this article.
I wrote out the quote not to suggest that you quote the quote but for anyone to read who cared to.
Enjoyed reading the lengthy statement that Becker gave to you to print.
As Buchser Alum said, “Becker lost most of the precincts in his own district to Gillmor.” As a resident of District 6 this is hardly surprising to me. In the last two years, Becker has done nothing unique or notable for District 6. It just reinforces the idea that he is a carpetbagger that moved into the district right before his campaign purely for political reasons. Will he run again for mayor in 4 years? I guess third time’s a charm.