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California election: Here’s a look at who’s running for mayor of San Jose as Sam Liccardo’s term comes to an end

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) — It’s Election Day and ABC7 hears from the four favorites vying for the lead in the Bay Area’s most populous city.

San Jose voters are preparing to elect a new mayor. Voter turnout, however, is not expected to be high, with 1 in 5 statewide ballots being returned during the early voting period.

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San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was voted out of office and is waiting in the wings to replace him with seven candidates, four of whom currently serve in local government and are considered the top contenders.

Starting in alphabetical order, they include Cindy Chavez. Currently a Santa Clara County Supervisor, Chavez has received the endorsement of a handful of prominent state politicians.

If elected mayor, she says she is looking to tackle issues like homelessness, crime and affordable housing.

She says experience is one of the most important things she brings to the table.

“It’s important that we not only have people with experience, but that people have a track record of success,” Chavez said. “Because what we’re going to face now is so much more difficult than what we’ve faced in the past.”

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Chavez hopes the trend of low voter turnout will change on Tuesday and people will decide to submit their ballots.

“What I want to say to people is to go through everything we are facing, we have to engage and vote,” she said after casting her vote on Tuesday morning alongside her husband and son. .

Next up is Dev Davis, who is currently a member of the San Jose City Council for District 6. Davis worked for 12 years as an education researcher at Stanford University.

She counts former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed among her supporters.

She said if elected, making the city safer and homelessness are top priorities.

“We need to not just double but triple our homelessness prevention strategies,” Davis told ABC7 on Monday. “As well as ensuring we have safety, sanitation and services for all the shelter and accommodation options we offer.”

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On Monday, candidate Matt Mahan, also a member of the San Jose 10th Ward City Council, canvassed for neighborhoods.

Mahan boasts a business background.

It has The Mercury News endorsement.

Like the other candidates, delinquency and homelessness top his list.

“We’ve seen an increase in crime, people don’t feel safe in their own community, there’s been a real lack of accountability on that front,” Mahan said. “And on homelessness, while we’re working hard to help people, we’re not helping enough people and we have to turn the corner, we have to be a lot more pragmatic about investing in addiction treatment, mental health treatment, cost – effective shelter and getting people back inside.”

The last of the first four runners is San Jose City Council member Raul Peralez, supported by four other current San Jose City Council members.

Peralez is a former San Jose police officer and still serves as a reserve officer.

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Its top priorities also include affordable housing and homelessness.

“I’ve seen (homelessness) grow over the last seven years by literally thousands,” Peralez said. “We’ve seen our homeless population grow, we have people suffering and dying on our streets, and we need to get that under control. That’s going to be the number one priority for me.”

The other three candidates are James Spence, a retired police sergeant, and students Travis Hill and Marshall Allen Woodmansee. The winning candidate must obtain more than half of the votes in Tuesday’s primary.

If no one does, the two candidates with the most votes stand in November’s general election.

Voters surveyed by ABC7 in San Jose agree that being heard is essential this Election Day. “From what I’m hearing, the vote is really low right now and we should really get out there and make a difference,” said voter Agnes Spence.

“I vote in every election. I take my time. It wasn’t easy this time but I feel like it’s my responsibility,” Benji Tittle said.

San Jose residents are eager to see who gets elected and what the new mayor will do for the Bay Area’s largest city.

“I think it’s going to be interesting to see where it all goes from here,” Tittle said.

If you’re on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live

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