On Tuesday, voters went to the polls to cast their votes, while many others cast their mail-in ballots in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Today, we have the unofficial initial results for the local elections. With more voters than ever utilizing mail-in ballots, a complete picture of the results may take longer than usual. This is what we know as of now. These results are as of Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 9 a.m. with the ballot counting progress at 58 percent.
Santa Clara City Council, District 1
Incumbent Kathy Watanabe seems to have a slight lead to continue to represent Santa Clara’s District 1. As of press time, Watanabe has 53.88 percent, while challenger Harbir Bhatia has 46.12 percent. Currently, it’s a difference of 283 votes.
Santa Clara City Council, District 4
As of press time, Kevin Park has a lead to represent Santa Clara’s District 4. Park has 57.41 percent of the votes and incumbent Teresa O’Neill has 42.59 percent. That’s the difference of 710 votes.
Santa Clara City Council, District 5
Santa Clara’s District 5’s lead candidate seems to be Suds Jain with 61.69 percent. Opponent, Bob O’Keefe, has 38.31 percent of the votes. Suds holds the lead with a difference of 1,080 votes.
Santa Clara City Council, District 6
Currently, Anthony Becker holds a lead. When it comes to Santa Clara’s District 6, Becker has 42.16 percent, Robert Mezzetti has 36.86 percent, and Gautam (aka Gary) Barve has 20.98 percent.
Santa Clara Police Chief
Current Police Chief Pat Nikolai, who was serving a partial term, is the winner and ran unopposed.
The Santa Clara Police Chief no longer has signing authority. That is held by the two Assistant Police Chiefs, which is not an elected position but an appointed one.
Santa Clara City Clerk
Current City Clerk Hosam Haggag, who was serving a partial term, is the winner and ran unopposed.
The City Clerk’s duties were reduced by a City Council decision in 2018. Most of the duties have been transferred to the Assistant City Clerk, which is not an elected position but an appointed one.
Santa Clara’s only ballot measure, Measure E, looks like it definitely caught the favor of voters. It currently has 75.03 percent of the ‘yes’ votes.
Santa Clara’s hotel tax, also known as the transient occupancy tax (TOT), in place since 1992, is 9.5 percent. If passed by voters, Measure E allows the City to raise that tax to 13.5 percent for hotel stays not exceeding 30 days. City Staff has estimated that the tax hike could generate between $1.75 and $7 million for the City’s general fund annually, based on pre-pandemic economic models, which would be used to preserve City services.
This is the first time Sunnyvale residents got to vote directly for their mayor. As of press time, current Mayor Larry Klein has a lead with 36.80 percent of the votes. Their opponents follow with 33.96 percent of the votes for Nancy Smith and Michael Goldman with 29.25 percent.
Smith is currently Sunnyvale’s Vice Mayor and Goldman is currently a Sunnyvale Council Member. Both of their terms are up in 2020.
Sunnyvale City Council, District 2
This is also the first election with Sunnyvale’s new City Council districts. Alysa Cisneros, with 54.17 percent of the vote, has a good lead to grab the opportunity to represent District 2. Josh Grossman follows with 33 percent and Hina Siddiqui has 12.83 percent.
Sunnyvale City Council, District 4
Residents in Sunnyvale’s District 4 got to vote in their first district election. Current Sunnyvale Council Member Russ Melton has a strong lead with 73.32 percent of the vote, while challenger Paul Joseph Lesevic-Campos has 26.68 percent.
Sunnyvale City Council, District 6
Sunnyvale’s District 6 residents also got to vote in their first district election. In another three-way race, Omar Din currently has a lead with 42.94 percent over the competition. Charlotte Thornton currently has 32.59 percent, while Leia Mehlman has 24.47 percent.
Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 2
In Santa Clara Unified’s 2nd Trustee Area, the current standings show Bonnie Lieberman in the lead with 41.32 percent of the vote and current Board Member Albert Gonzalez with 38.29 percent. Current Board Clerk Mark Richardson trails with 20.39 percent. Two of these candidates will be welcomed to the Board.
Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Trustees, Trustee Area 3
Current Santa Clara Unified School Board President Dr. Michele Ryan has 54.39 percent as of press time while Andrew Knaack has 45.61 percent.
Santa Clara County Board of Education Governing Board, Trustee Area 5
Victoria Chon is currently in the lead with 52.51 percent of the vote, while current Board Member Anna Song has 47.49 percent.
U.S. Congress, California’s 17th District
Current Congressman Ro Khanna has a strong lead to continue to represent District 17, which includes the cities of Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Milpitas, and Newark, as well as parts of Fremont and San Jose. Currently, Khanna has 74.36 percent of the votes while Ritesh Tandon 23.64 percent. Last night, The Associated Press called the race for Khanna.
As of publication, voter turnout in Santa Clara County was a little over 50 percent. View the developing results on the Santa Clara Registrar of Voters’ website.