Cindy Chavez, the County Supervisor for Santa Clara county, was always going to be a longshot from cinching the mayoral spot in San Jose. Yet, after the midterms, there was a forlorn feeling, as her chances of winning would’ve been higher if there had been a higher and wider voter turnout in that area of California. As a result, the Mayoral spot went to Councilmember Matt Mahan. which is in itself an upset, as Mahan had only been a councilmember for one term and had nowhere near the amount of experience, brand identity and many leaders of local and federal communities leading the charge as Chavez did.
As a result, Mahan won by a mere approximation of 6,000 votes, which led Mahan to the mayor’s office at City Hall.
Regarding the victory, there has since been much speculation on how a tech entrepreneur, barely making it two years in office was able to accomplish a win. Community leaders stated how Mahan had victory stemming from hardcore canvassing that would be the ideal connection between voters. Additionally, effective messaging proved to be a valid effort.
Mahan had been able to mobilize his base as well, which would allow him to access parts of the 101 highway that was previously won by Chavez during the June primary. Voter turnout around certain areas showed plenty of support for Chavez, but definitely would’ve been more effective for her if it didn’t tip the scales in Mahan’s favor so much. Around 54% of voters had been casting ballots countywide all week, comparatively to 70% of a voter turnout within the 2018 midterm election as well as 85 percent in 2020’s elections, all according to the data the county would select.
Chavez had been successful in some perspectives. She won 208 precincts versus Mahan’s win of 160. Yet, the voter turnout had been seen as lower at 39% in comparison to Mahan’s own at 54%, averagely.
Mahan supporters believe, however, that it was his stance on change and government accountability.
What’s fascinating about what else is at stake is how the reputation of a “David and Goliath” tale is now tarnishing the city of San Jose. A very amusing display of events indeed unfolded this year.
It all started off with the high-stakes of competition, in which a veteran official of the government had squared off and lost to a relative ingenue. A newbie to politics, so evergreen, he believes change is the message to absorb from his waving of peace flags. Chavez had, before being on the San Jose City Council, served as a county supervisor, for about nine years. And those years of service paid off, for there was no shortage of endorsements from just about every level of politics, from local to state, to federal and so on. Mayor Sam Liccardo was the only candidate who was backing his own campaign.
Being a newcomer Mahan had been poorly-illustrating Chavez as some no-good incumbent, who had long been the scapegoat for everything wrong in San Jose. All regarding maybe areas of homelessness to crime. The message that came from Mahan stated himself as an agent-of-change.