Raymond Chukwu
music in the park san jose

Scott Kirkland edged out fellow San Jose businessman Don Barich
for the Republican nomination and the right to take on incumbent
Democrat Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in the 15th Congressional District
race, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar’s Office.
Scott Kirkland edged out fellow San Jose businessman Don Barich for the Republican nomination and the right to take on incumbent Democrat Mike Honda (D-San Jose) in the 15th Congressional District race, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar’s Office.

With all the votes tallied, Kirkland had 9,507 votes while Don Barich had 8,674 votes – or 39.51 and 36.05 percent of the vote, respectively – according to the registrar’s office. The two men were neck-and-neck for most of the night, with Kirkland’s lead growing slightly as the night wore on.

Meanwhile, Raymond Chukwu settled into in third place with 5,879 votes – 24.43 percent of the vote – according to the registrar’s office.

Honda ran unopposed.

“I had a feeling it would be kind of tight, but this is a real nail biter,” Kirkland said just past 12:10 a.m. Wednesday as he reviewed the incomplete results on his home computer.

Kirkland, 32, works in the Sunnyvale office of Scotts Valley-based Seagate Technology, a company that makes hard drives. He became inspired to run this year after holding his newborn daughter and wondering what future awaited her.

Barich, 56, works in the graphic arts industry while also serving as a gym instructor and leading an adult education class for immigrants. He ran his own graphic arts company for many years.

Both Barich and Kirkland believe in stimulating the economy by lowering taxes and regulations on businesses rather than through government spending. Both of them also have been critical of federal health care legislation supported by Honda.

Kirkland hopes to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil, but he also supports loosening restrictions on off-shore drilling. He stresses the enforcement of immigration laws, and he seeks to use free market forces to help resolve national health care challenges.

Barich favors a guest worker program for seasonal and temporary work along with the protection of U.S. borders. He strongly supports U.S. troops, but he thinks they have done all they can in Iraq and Afghanistan and that it is time to leave.

Chukwu, 56, who heads up the San Jose-based nonprofit firm Black Technologies Advancement, was born in California but grew up in Nigeria. The aerospace engineer has run for Congress twice previously but had difficulty raising funds for this campaign.

Kirkland said he was surprised that Chukwu received as many votes as he did, given the candidate’s limited amount of campaigning.

All three of the Republican candidates have never held public office, and Kirkland said the Congressional election in November will be difficult.

“Honda is going to be a monumental challenge,” he said.

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