Michael Mulcahy leads District 6 San Jose City Council race
District 6 San Jose City Council candidate Michael Mulcahy talks with supporters at his election results party on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in Willow Glen. Photo by Joseph Geha.

A prominent investor in Willow Glen appears to be ahead in an open San Jose city council race in early election returns.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, real estate investor Michael Mulcahy leads a field of four candidates with roughly 39.2% of the vote. He is trailed by Olivia Navarro, an insurance agent and political adviser, with about 31.2% of the vote, while housing advocate Alex Shoor has 17.3% of the vote and Amatangelo “Angelo” Pasciuti has 12.1% 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.

Despite the large lead early, Mulcahy was cautiously optimistic on election night.

“Well, they certainly are promising and we are excited to see those come out,” Mulcahy told San José Spotlight about the results. “We’re excited to see the trend but it’s going to be a long night.”

Mulcahy, through his family company SDS NexGen Partners, has invested in myriad properties along Lincoln Avenue in downtown Willow Glen, including the Garden Theater, helping to revamp the area.

He also owns stakes in several Willow Glen restaurants including The Table and Lamella Tavern, and rents to longtime outposts like Aqui, he said previously. Mulcahy also oversaw redevelopment of the former Sun Garden tomato cannery on Monterey Road, which his family owned since the 1940s before it shut down. The area is now the Sun Garden shopping center.

He celebrated the results with friends, family, and local businesspeople and members of local nonprofits at his campaign office in Willow Glen on Lincoln Avenue.

“I feel like we’re going to be in the runoff, whether we’re first or second, we’ll take it and we’ll move forward,” Mulcahy said. “I want to bring my experience to City Hall and help our city council and city staff really focus on what matters in this city, and I look forward to having that opportunity. But look, we’ve got a lot of work to do to get there and I’m excited to do that.”

Navarro was also optimistic about the early returns Tuesday night.

“I’m deeply honored to have earned the trust of the District 6 voters. I do believe we’re going into a runoff and I’m really excited to continue to talk to neighbors all around the district about how we can make San Jose work for working class families,” Navarro told San José Spotlight. “We do have a good clear path to victory if we all work together.”

Navarro said she has been actively listening to residents’ concerns as a neighborhood commissioner since 2016, and feels her message is connecting with voters.

“I didn’t just start doing it when I decided to run for office. I think the biggest difference is they’re ready for a true change and a real voice form the community,” Navarro said.

District 6 San Jose City Council candidate Alex Shoor speaks to his supporters at a results watch party at Hop & Vine on The Alameda on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. Photo by Joseph Geha.

Shoor, executive director of housing advocacy organization Catalyze SV, said Tuesday before the results were published that he was optimistic about his chances.

“I feel a lot of gratitude. Gratitude to have had the chance to talk with hundreds if not thousands of San Jose voters about the issues,” Shoor told San José Spotlight. “We had a grassroots campaign, we knocked on 12,000 doors, we raised over $106,000 from almost 600 donors.”

After initial results posted showing him in third place, Shoor told San José Spotlight, “There’s a lot more to come.”

Shoor previously worked at the communications and public engagement consulting firm Katz & Associates, to support the VTA project bringing the BART extension to Silicon Valley, according to Catalyze SV. He also served as a staffer for former Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager.

On Tuesday night, at Shoor’s watch party at Hop & Vine on The Alameda, Yeager said he thinks Shoor would be a great councilmember.

“He knows city government, he knows county government, he knows political activism, so he really is so well-rounded and so knowledgeable about the issues that are facing San Jose and need immediate attention,” Yeager told San José Spotlight.

Councilmember Dev Davis is terming out in the district, which encompasses Willow Glen, The Alameda and parts of downtown.

During the race, Mulcahy raised the most money with $205,070, Shoor raised $64,423, Navarro raised $45,716 and Pasciuti raised $36,369, as of Dec. 31, 2023, the latest campaign finance filing period available.

This story will be updated.

Contact Joseph Geha at [email protected] or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

Comment Policy (updated 5/10/2023): Readers are required to log in through a social media or email platform to confirm authenticity. We reserve the right to delete comments or ban users who engage in personal attacks, hate speech, excess profanity or make verifiably false statements. Comments are moderated and approved by admin.

Leave a Reply