Election: CA congressional candidates receiving big-name endorsements from South Bay leaders

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Thursday, January 18, 2024
Election: CA congressional candidates receive big-name endorsements
Candidates for California's 16th congressional district are busy pulling support ahead of the primary election in March.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The countdown for congress is on in the South Bay. Candidates are busy pulling support from the community ahead of March's primary election and some big names are coming out in support of those running.

The primary election will decide which two candidates will appear on the ballot for representative of California's 16th congressional district.

And the race to see who will take over for Anna Eshoo is heating up.

"An open congressional seat is a rare thing in California," SJSU political science professor Melinda Jackson said. "This is the first time this seat has been open in over 30 years."

Jackson says State Assemblymember Evan Low, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo are emerging as favorites.

MORE: Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo files paperwork to run for Congress

The latter receiving a big endorsement Tuesday.

"Our local governments need a national partner so that we are addressing these issues from every angle," Mahan said. "And that partner is Sam Liccardo."

"There aren't many endorsements that matter, but certainly the mayor of the largest city in the district matters," Liccardo said. "And as mayors, we understand accountability and we embrace it. We need to bring that accountability to congress, because on issues like homelessness, crime and the high cost of living, we don't have an accountable congress."

Liccardo, Low and Simitian are growing their list of public endorsements who each believe they are the right person for congress.

Low has pulled several U.S. representatives, including South Bay Congressman Ro Khanna as well as the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus.

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Simitian meanwhile has more than 150 on his list of endorsements, including perhaps one of the biggest voices of all in this particular race: Anna Eshoo.

"I believe that there is one person who has the ability to best represent the people of this special place and that is Joe Simitian," Eshoo said in a video released by Simitian's campaign.

Jackson says each candidate has had successful careers and name recognition from that work as well as endorsements will make a big difference when pulling voters in a historically low-turnout election like a primary.

"Each of these guys comes from a different area of the county and brings their own base of support from those areas," Jackson said. "So, voters are going to be looking for clues in terms of their own knowledge of the candidates, but then these endorsements of all these familiar names."

The primary election is March 5.

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