Based on the votes that have been counted so far, it’s safe to say that Vice Mayor Carmen Montano will be the first woman Mayor in Milpitas history. Currently, Montano has 34.25% of the vote, with 3,123 voters having picked her. Right now, Councilmember Anthony Phan trails behind Montano with 2,318 votes (25.42%).
At Montano’s election party last night, held at McCarthy Ranch’s Cajun Crack’n, there was a lively celebration, complete with deejayed music, dancing, and congratulatory speeches.
“The fruits of my labor paid off,” said Montano to The Beat. “The people of Milpitas are smart. They know my track record, they know my work ethic. I’m really ecstatic.”
As for the Milpitas City Council race, it’s certain that current Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Trustee Hon Lien has won one of two open seats. She currently leads the pack with 28.36% and 4,418 votes. Following in second place is Attorney Garry Barbadillo, with 21.12% and 3,289 votes. Barbadillo may take the second council seat; however Michael Tsai (also a current MUSD Trustee) is not too far behind, with 2,637 votes, at 16.93%.
At Lien’s Election party last night, at Chez Christina on Jacklin Rd., the back room crowd buzzed with excitement.
“I’m very happy and encouraged,” said Lien in an interview with The Beat.
When asked how she felt about the campaign she’d run over the last few months, Lien responded, “We ran a very clean campaign. I appreciate most of the candidates that ran for this City Council race. I’m happy we saw so many people with a desire to serve the city step up.”
Right now, it’s looking like incumbents Kelly Yip-Chuan and Chris Norwood will be filling two of the three open seats on MUSD’s Board of Education. Yip-Chuan is out in front with 6,113 votes (29.17%) and Norwood took 5,858 votes (27.95%). Anu Nakka is coming in third with 3,666 votes (17.49%), but Robert Jung doesn’t trail her by too much, at 2,935 votes (an even 14%).
“I’m excited to be able to continue to work. I’m excited that voters recognized the work that we did over the last 4 years, and during Covid. And now that we’re coming out of Covid, there’s so much work to be done,” said Norwood. “To be a part of being able to continue the work and service to the community…that’s all I can ask for.”
Yip-Chuan and Norwood held a joint party at the Straw Hat Pizza Grille on Calaveras Blvd. As the first round of votes were reported at 8pm, the crowd cheered upon seeing both Yip-Chuan and Norwood at the top.
“I’m very excited about tonight. It’s a good indication,” said Yip-Chuan. “All of the people out there who supported me, whether they donated, put up my signs, or cheered me on on the sidelines…I couldn’t have done it without their support and all the things they did.”
Residents also voted in favor of Measure F, which will limit the number of years elected officials serve on the City Council. Under this new measure, one will only be able to serve on the Council for a total of 10 consecutive years, as opposed to the previous cap of 12. Measure F currently has 7,048 votes in favor of it, or 78.1%.
So far, an estimated 49% of the 2022 Milpitas election ballots have been counted. The next update is expected to come in later today by 5pm.
I wanted Karina Dominguez to win, but I was very scared Anthony Phan would become Milpitas’ next year, so this is a pretty pleasant outcome I would say. Not a big fan of the anti-development, anti-homeless policies Tran and Montano have championed, but I think it’s important that the mayor’s seat is not occupied someone with the Trump-like amorality of Anthony Phan. Milpitas deserves a mayor who believes in right and wrong, not just power. Will be interesting to see if Montano will be willing to give up her seat in two years when Rich Tran comes back for it.
I am also curious about how long it will take for Mayor Tran to stab Montano in the back. I voted for Karina but I think Montano will be a fine mayor and Tran will reveal just how nasty he can be when he tries to bring her down. Mayor Tran is a failure as a public servant and as a decent human being. Milpitas will be a much better place once he is gone!