With the first round of results posted Tuesday, Berryessa school board trustee David Cohen had a small lead over incumbent Lan Diep in the San Jose City Council District 4 primary.
“We reached out to a lot of voters and it resonated with the district,” said Cohen, who had 37.7 percent of the vote with 45 percent of precincts reporting as of 9:30 p.m. “I’m excited, I’ve been excited all day. Personally, tonight is really validating to me but there’s still a lot of counting to do.”
If Diep, who had 35.1 percent of the vote, retains his position he will move on to the November runoff to face off again with Cohen.
Diep, a fierce ally of the mayor said Tuesday he’s feeling grateful that he is in good shape to advance to the runoff.
“I had two serious contenders and to come out where I did I’m gratified with the effort we put in and well, of course, I’d like to win,” Diep told San José Spotlight Tuesday. “I’ll take winning in November.”
At the upscale residence of a friend where he held his re-election party, Diep thanked his supporters and vowed to continue working for them if he retains his seat on the council.
“Thanks for believing in me and keep on believing in me,” he said . “I appreciate you having my back — I’ll have yours.”
His next move is to continue knocking on doors and representing the best interests of District 4 residents. His main priorities include boosting economic development, streamlining the housing permitting processes by slashing fees and taxes and investing in improving public transit as his district grows.
“My goal is to keep being the best councilmember I can be,” Diep said.
Employment attorney Huy Tran had 21.5 percent of the vote after early returns were released. Despite falling in third place, Tran said he was in a celebratory mood. He wore a festive Vietnamese outfit to commemorate the evening with supporters and friends.
“I’m really proud of the campaign that we’ve run, we were able to build a coalition of people across different parts of our community,” he said. “We’re celebrating tonight because it’s a win.”
Cohen, who’s been endorsed by labor groups, said he’s using the results to capitalize on his momentum to unseat Diep in the district that encompasses Berryessa, Alviso and North San Jose in November.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more results become available.
Contact Nadia Lopez at [email protected] or follow @n_llopez on Twitter.