Don Gage, the termed out 14-year county supervisor and former
Gilroy mayor, flooded his two opponents in the election for a seat
on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board.
Don Gage, the termed out 14-year county supervisor and former Gilroy mayor, flooded his two opponents in the election for a seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board.
With 222 of 222 precincts counted, Gage pulled in nearly double the number of votes cast for his nearest competitor.
Gage had 22,262 votes or 59 percent. Thomas Kruse, 71, who owns a winery in Gilroy, came in second with 31 percent or 11,518 votes and San Jose dentist Roberto Sepulveda, 59, was in last place with 11 percent or 3,948 votes.
Gage stayed at his Gilroy home Tuesday night to watch the numbers next to his name increase to 16,932 votes around 11 p.m. He had a clear lead in the race through every update by the registrar of voters for the sole seat to represent South County on the seven-member water district board of directors.
“I’m ready to go to bed. But, I am very pleased,” Gage said just before 11 p.m. Tuesday. “There a lot of issues and a lot of work to do and I think we can make a better water district out of that place. The workers do a good job, but the board is what needs to have some change and I’m glad I can be a part of it,” Gage, 65, said.
The water district sells water wholesale to companies, cities or individual well owners for distribution, while also acting as a flood protection agency and steward for the county’s streams, creeks, underground aquifers and reservoirs. About 800 employees work for the district with a current budget of about $305 million annually. The district has been the subject of a Santa Clara County grand jury reports that criticized the water district for overspending and poor financial management, and that it lacks oversight, transparency and accountability.
The winner of the election will be South County’s sole representative on the water district board of directors. Gage, 65, is a longtime politician who is currently the District 1 county supervisor. He formerly served as a Gilroy city councilman and mayor in the 1980s and 1990s. Gage will have served 14 years as supervisor when his term expires this year.
Rosemary Kamei and Cy Mann currently represent South County, though both will leave the district following the election. Kamei is not seeking any candidacy and Mann, who was appointed in February, is running for a seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Education and is currently in last place with 12.5 percent of the vote with all precincts reporting.
222 of 222 precincts reporting as of 5 a.m.