sylvia arenas joseph robinson election neon exchange downtown gilroy
Santa Clara County District 1 Supervisor candidate Sylvia Arenas chats with Gilroy City Council candidate Joseph Robinson during an election night party at The Neon Exchange in downtown Gilroy. Photo: Erik Chalhoub
music in the park san jose

San Jose City Councilmember Sylvia Arenas was building a solid early lead over former councilmember Johnny Khamis for the Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1, according to unofficial returns Tuesday. 

As of 8:30pm with none of the precincts reporting in the Board of Supervisors’ only contested seat, Arenas held nearly a 5,000-vote lead over Khamis. The elections office showed Arenas with 54.8% of the vote, compared to 45.2% for Khamis. About 20% of registered voters had been counted, as polls closed.

The seat is currently held by board chair Mike Wasserman, the lone Republican on the board and its most conservative member, who is not seeking re-election because of term limits. 

Some observers see the District 1 seat as a key swing vote on the county board, with the board possibly tilting more progressive with an Arenas victory, and keeping a progressive/conservative split if Khamis prevails.

In a hard-fought five-person District 1 primary in June, Arenas was the top vote getter, with 20,262 votes, fewer than 1,500 ahead of Khamis, 28.6% to 26.6%. County school board member Claudia Rossi and Rich Constantine, both of Morgan Hill, split the next 27,500 votes. How their supporters lean will decide this election.

The other open board seat this year, in District 4, Supervisor Susan Ellenberg retains her seat because she was unopposed.

On the San Jose City Council, Arenas represents District 8, East San Jose/Evergreen and is a former school board member for the Evergreen Elementary School District. 

Khamis is a former city council member, representing District 10 in southwest San Jose, and came in a distant 5th in the primary for the California State Senate’s 15th District. He is a former Republican who changed to No Party Preference during the presidency of Donald Trump.

In a realignment of the county supervisor districts following the 2020 census, Los Gatos was removed from District 1, which includes portions of San Jose and the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill.

Santa Clara County Supervisor District 1

Sylvia Arenas 54.8%

Johnny Khamis 45.2%

Previous articleMeasure D, Gilroy’s charter amendment for public projects, takes big lead
Next articleJonsen leads in Santa Clara County Sheriff’s race


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here