Rose Herrera not running for San Jose City Council

Dashing the hopes of some longtime business leaders, former Vice Mayor Rose Herrera told San José Spotlight this week that she will not run for her old seat on the San Jose City Council.

In fact, Herrera is not running for any elected office anymore — she recently dropped out of the supervisorial race for personal reasons — though she won’t rule out a run for public office in the future.

“I was approached to run for council many months ago before I announced I was running for supervisor,” Herrera said in a recent interview. “They asked me again recently. It was at the time I was already deciding not to run for office because of a family situation. If I’m not running for supervisor, I’m definitely not running for council. I’m not running for anything.”

Herrera told San José Spotlight in May that she entered the supervisorial race because she had ideas for tackling homelessness and other countywide issues. She got her start working in Santa Clara County government.

Last month, speculation swirled that Herrera would challenge Councilmember Sylvia Arenas’s re-election in 2020, vying for her old seat in San Jose’s District 8. According to numerous City Hall insiders, she was being lobbied heavily by business interests to unseat the labor-friendly Arenas.

Arenas, who succeeded Herrera in 2016 after she termed out, said in a statement Friday she is “honored” to have the support of District 8 families and community leaders, and to continue her work on the council. Arenas recently launched a robust re-election campaign, announcing endorsements from California Sen. Jim Beall, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese and Evergreen School Board President Bonnie Mace.

“I have their support because I stand up for Evergreen,” Arenas said. “Special interests are trying to recruit someone to run against me to advance their political agenda. I’m glad to hear that Rose decided not to be part of that. Regardless of who they recruit, I’ll continue to work on behalf of my community.”

Herrera said she was honored to serve on the City Council for eight years and won’t completely close the door on elected office in the future, “but this is not the right time.”

In the meantime, she plans to continue her work on veterans issues and serving as vice president of the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County and president of the neighborhood group Involved Evergreen. She’s currently working on raising money for the South Bay’s annual Veterans Day Parade.

“I love Evergreen. I’m passionate about Evergreen and we’ve got lots of things planned for next year to bring the community together,” Herrera said. “We see divisiveness nationally. We see divisiveness locally. I think now more than ever we need to build community, bring people together and remember what’s important.”

Contact Ramona Giwargis at ramona@sanjosespotlight.com or follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

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