The Santa Clara mayor’s race remained close Monday, with incumbent Lisa Gillmor maintaining a slim lead over District 6 Councilmember Anthony Becker as the county crawled toward a complete vote tally nearly a week after the Nov. 8 election.

With 79% of the votes counted, Gillmor had 12,241 votes to Becker’s 11,670, a 571-vote lead. Nearly 24,000 votes have been counted so far.

The county will release more results by 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

A clear winner would bring an end to an arduous campaign season characterized by bickering and character-tarnishing accusations from Gillmor, Becker and their allies. Often at the center of the fight was the $4.5 million the San Francisco 49ers spent to back several candidates in the Santa Clara City Council races, including Becker, the intended beneficiary for $1.4 million in spending.

The team and its management of Levi’s Stadium has long been a subject of controversy in Santa Clara, splitting the county — and the city itself — into factions. The stadium, a 68,500-seat venue approved by voters in 2010 and built in 2014, was promised to be the city’s golden goose, bringing in revenue from non-49ers-related events throughout the year. Gillmor and her supporters say the team has failed to deliver on those promises, while Becker and his council allies say the group needs to figure out how to improve the city’s relationship with the team now that the stadium is here to stay.

The two other 49ers-backed candidates, Raj Chahal and Karen Hardy, continued to maintain comfortable leads over their opponents and remained poised to win their re-election bids. Chahal led his opponent, Larry McColloch, by 951 votes, while Hardy had 1,041 votes more than her opponent, Christian Pellecchia. Neither of the councilmembers’ opponents has officially conceded the race yet, though McColloch said last week that he would consider doing so once 90% of the ballots cast are counted.

The 49ers also spent over $600,000 each on Chahal and Hardy’s campaigns and additional millions to oppose Gillmor, McColloch and Pellecchia. Gillmor and her supporters have denounced the 49ers’ spending on the elections, saying their support put candidates at an unfair advantage and is intimidating to those who may eventually want to run against them.

The 49ers have not yet responded for multiple requests for comment on the close mayoral race.

Becker, Chahal and Hardy have sought to verbally distance themselves from the 49ers as well, maintaining that they’re independent candidates who don’t …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Lisa Gillmor maintains lead over Anthony Becker in draw out Santa Clara mayor’s race

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