Gilroy school board candidate charged with falsifying address

DA: Hurtado lives in Morgan Hill

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Jonathan Hurtado speaks in a video posted on his campaign Facebook page. Photo via Facebook

A 2020 Christopher High School graduate has been charged with a misdemeanor after allegedly falsifying his address in an attempt to run for the Gilroy Unified School District Board of Trustees Area 3 seat. 

The County of Santa Clara Office of the District Attorney has charged Jonathan Hurtado for illegally using a friend’s Gilroy address on his Voter Registration and Candidate Information Request Form to make himself eligible for the school board position. 

“The voters of Gilroy should know that Mr. Hurtado knowingly falsified his election documents,” prosecutor Jason Malinsky said in a press release. “He is not a viable candidate in Trustee Area 3 because he is not a resident there.”

According to the DA, Hurtado, 18, lives with his mother in Morgan Hill, which would make him ineligible to run for the Gilroy Unified Trustee Area 3 position. Hurtado filled out three forms stating he lived at the same Gilroy address—voter registration, the Candidate Information Request Form and California Fair Political Practices Commission Form 700 disclosure—all in a span of five days starting on July 31.

He signed two of those forms under penalty of perjury, and a subsequent DA investigation revealed that Hurtado never lived at the address listed on his candidate forms. Hurtado used the address of the parents of a former classmate after asking permission from his friend “to get some mail sent their (sic) to show that I ‘live there,’” per a text message from Hurtado to the classmate, according to the DA. 

Hurtado said he will take accountability for his actions. 

“I am really sorry to the people of Gilroy,” he told the Dispatch. “It hurts my heart for this to happen, and I understand the gravity of the situation. I will do my best to learn from this. I’m working with the DA to the best of my ability to sort this out.”

Hurtado also posted a couple of messages on his Facebook page. 

“Thank you so much to everyone who has supported me through my journey, but it has come to an end and I’m sorry,” he said. “This race has been such a learning experience and I will continue to learn and grow as a person. I’m sorry to the people of Gilroy for misleading you because I never meant any harm. This run for office may be dying, but I hope the voice of the youth does not die with it.”

A date for Hurtado’s arraignment has yet to be set. If he is convicted of a misdemeanor, Hurtado could face up to a year in jail.

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