What’s next for outgoing San Jose mayor, councilmembers?
Inside the San Jose City Council chambers in April 2022. Photo by Jana Kadah.

    After eight years on the 18th floor of City Hall, four San Jose elected officials are on their way out.

    Some are planning their next political moves, while others prepare to go back to their old non-political jobs.

    San Jose is weeks away from electing a new mayor and at least two new councilmembers during the November election. District 1 elected its new representative, Rosemary Kamei, in June with more than 60% of the vote. San Jose councilmembers can only serve two consecutive four-year terms.

    Mayor Sam Liccardo, who represented downtown San Jose for eight years before becoming mayor in 2014, Vice Mayor Chappie Jones, Councilmembers Raul Peralez and Magdalena Carrasco are all terming out this year.

    So what’s next?

    (L-R) Sharon Genkin, Volunteer California State Lead for Community Outreach, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Mayor Sam Liccardo, Councilmember David Cohen and Vice Mayor Chappie Jones speak about their support for the gun harm ordinance to media gathered at NextDoor Solutions in San Jose, Calif. on Jan. 24, 2021. Photo by Jana Kadah.

    Mayor Liccardo

    Liccardo said he plans to go into the private sector or work for a nonprofit — but it “won’t be working in government.” He’s remained mum about his next campaign, although earlier this year the mayor revealed he’s eyeing a run for Congress.

    “If (Congress) were to happen, it would be sometime much further off,” Liccardo told San José Spotlight during a news conference. “I think it’s important for all of us who have been in the public sector, to actually get out and see how the rest of the world works.”

    The mayor has been positioning himself on the national stage during the last few years. He’s met with President Joe Biden to discuss gun control policies, hired a six-figure consultant to place op-eds in national newspapers like the New York Times, and took a vocal stand on the impact of federal redistricting on San Jose’s representation in Congress.

    As mayor, Liccardo also set up an advocacy nonprofit to lobby on local issues and launched a formidable political action committee to influence local elections.

    San Jose Vice Mayor Chappie Jones speaks in support of the $2 million request for library staffing. Photo by Jana Kadah.

    Vice Mayor Jones

    Jones plans to return to the private sector. Jones, first elected to office in 2014, represents District 1 in West San Jose. He has served as vice mayor the last four years.

    Prior to becoming an elected official, Jones worked as a business manager for Apple and AT&T. He has not held any other political office.

    “As I near the end of my eight years in elected office, it has been an honor to serve my San Jose community,” Jones told San José Spotlight. “I look forward to taking time to evaluate next steps.”

    San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez learned that a childhood friend died during Wednesday’s mass shooting at a VTA light rail yard. File photo.

    Councilmember Peralez

    After an unsuccessful run for mayor in June, Peralez spent the summer mulling his future political career. He decided recently to return full-time to the San Jose Police Department, he told San José Spotlight. Peralez previously worked as a police officer and teacher. He rejoined the San Jose Police Department in 2017 as a reserve officer while serving as a councilmember.

    Peralez briefly weighed running for the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, if incumbent Supervisor Cindy Chavez wins the mayor’s race this November and leaves an open seat. He decided against it after consulting with his wife and family. Chavez is facing off against Councilmember Matt Mahan for San Jose mayor.

    “I don’t know what the future holds for another potential political run,” he said. “But at the moment, and in the short term, that is not the plan.”

    Peralez worked as a police officer for eight years before joining the council in 2014. Peralez hopes to bring his experience and relationships as a councilmember to the department.

    “We’ve got over 400 police reforms that have been recommended to the police department,” Peralez said. “I’m very interested in potentially getting involved in helping the department navigate and implement some of those reforms.”

    Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco speaking in East San Jose in 2020. File photo.

    Councilmember Carrasco

    Carrasco, who represents East San Jose on the city council, plans to continue her political career. She’s running to represent area 6 on the Santa Clara County Board of Education. The area includes the Alum Rock, Mt. Pleasant and Franklin-McKinley school districts. Carrasco is running against Franklin-McKinley School District board member Maimona Afzal Berta.

    For Carrasco, this is a return to her educational roots.

    Carrasco served as a board member on the East Side Union High School District for two years before winning her city council seat in 2014.

    In 2020, she unsuccessfully ran for the county Board of Supervisors against Kansen Chu and winner Supervisor Otto Lee. She didn’t respond to inquiries about her current campaign.

    The general election is Nov. 8.

    Contact Tran Nguyen at [email protected] or follow @nguyenntrann on Twitter.

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