Margaret Abe-Koga leads race for D5 Santa Clara County supervisor
Margaret Abe-Koga tells supporters that her message around public safety helped put her in the lead for District 5 supervisor race. Photo by Brandon Pho.

A Mountain View councilmember appears to be leading the race for the open Santa Clara County District 5 seat.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Margaret Abe-Koga is ahead with 41.9% of the vote. In second place is Sally Lieber with 24.7% of the vote. Peter Fung has 20.1% of the vote, Barry Chang has 6.9% of the vote and Sandy Sans trails with 6.2% of the vote.

The early results include a voter turnout of about 37.3%, according to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. The registrar’s office is expecting turnout for this primary election to land at about 35% to 45%, officials said on Election Day. There are approximately 1,025 unprocessed ballots remaining.

The top two candidates in the primary will face each other in a runoff during the general election in November.

Abe-Koga said her campaign message of tackling property crime and increasing public safety is the reason for her election night lead.

“Our message was creating a stronger, safer county and I think that was what folks are really looking for,” Abe-Koga told San José Spotlight. “Unfortunately, property crime is up and I’ve always been a strong champion for public safety. We have a budget situation and I closed our budget deficit when I was mayor of Mountain View in 2009, so fiscal responsibility is really important.”

Supervisor Joe Simitian is terming out of his north Santa Clara County seat — which represents Cupertino, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Stanford and portions of Sunnyvale and San Jose.

Lieber, a former Mountain View city councilmember and state assemblymember, is looking toward the runoff in November.

“I feel very pleased and honored to be one of the top two, it looks like, and I was outspent about 9-to-1 by the special interests led by the California Apartment Association, so I think I hold in there pretty well,” Lieber told San José Spotlight.

Margaret Abe-Koga has an early lead and appears to be heading to the November runoff in the District 5 supervisor race. Photo by Brandon Pho.

Five candidates are competing to replace him. They include Abe-Koga, State Board of Equalization Chair Sally Lieber, former Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang, El Camino Healthcare District director Peter C. Fung, and Los Altos business owner Sandy Sans.

Scores of Abe-Koga’s supporters chanted her name on Tuesday night in a Residence Inn ballroom in Cupertino.

Los Altos School District Trustee Shali Sirkay supports Abe-Koga for her able to bring different viewpoints together around a common vision.  Photo by Brandon Phoo.

“I support Margaret because in a county as large and diverse and populous as ours we need someone to bring different viewpoints together around a common vision,” Los Altos School District Trustee Shali Sirkay told San José Spotlight. “I think Margaret has the experience and tenacity — but most importantly the empathy and compassion — to do so.”

Abe-Koga said she’s most concerned with climate change and the need for more mental health services. As supervisor, she said her priorities would be working with local cities to address those issues, as well as public safety and the housing and homelessness crisis.

During the race, Abe-Koga raised the most money with $297,246, followed by Fung with $221,297, Lieber with $163,741 and Sandy Sans with $32,601. Chang raised no money.

This story will be updated.

Contact Brandon Pho at [email protected] or @brandonphooo on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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