Winery owner joins supervisor candidate field

Gilroy winery owner and Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

Gilroy winery owner Thomas Kruse added his name to the field of
candidates running for Don Gage’s Santa Clara County Board of
Supervisors District 1 seat last week.
Gilroy winery owner Thomas Kruse added his name to the field of candidates running for Don Gage’s Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors District 1 seat last week.

And following the close of the filing period, Gage, who will be termed out at the end of this year, cast his support for candidate and Los Gatos City Councilman Mike Wasserman.

The deadline to qualify for the June 8 election was Friday. A total of five candidates filed and paid the qualifying fee of $1,430.31.

Running for the seat are Kruse, Wasserman, former San Jose City Councilman Forrest Williams, nonprofit foundation executive Teresa Alvarado and Gilroy City Councilman Peter Arellano.

If no one wins a majority of the votes in the June 8 election, the top two vote getters will square off in the November 9 general election.

District 1, which has a population of more than 330,000 and encompasses about 800 acres – or 70 percent of the county’s land area – is the county’s largest geographical district. It includes Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Martin, Los Gatos, Almaden Valley, Santa Teresa and Blossom Valley, as well as the Mt. Hamilton Range and the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Kruse was the last of the candidates to qualify, and could not be reached by press time. He owns a winery that bears his name in Gilroy. Earlier this year, he applied for an empty seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board of directors, but was not selected. Since 1971, he has served in a number of officers’ positions on the Santa Clara Valley Winegrowers’ Association, including president. He has served on the Santa Clara County Planning Commission, the San Martin Citizens Advisory Planning Board, and the county architectural and site approval committee.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning incumbent Gage, who has sat in the District 1 seat for about 12 years, announced his support for Wasserman.

“I looked at all the candidates carefully,” Gage said in a statement to the Wasserman campaign. “I felt Mike Wasserman had the best qualifications – the right experience and commitment needed to tackle the tough issues the county will face.”

All five candidates have been invited to a candidate forum March 23 in Morgan Hill. The forum will be co-hosted by the Morgan Hill and Gilroy Chambers of Commerce. The event will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center, 17000 Monterey Road.

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