Election season is kicking back up in Milpitas.
On Saturday, September 30, former mayor Rich Tran posted on his personal Facebook account that he was looking for a campaign manager:
“WANTED: Campaign manager for Milpitas Mayoral race 2024. Very part-time position for a period of 12 months — 11/23-11/24. Will train you on the in’s and out’s of a local political election. This is a volunteer position. I’ll work beside you.”
While not an official announcement, the post implied Tran’s run for Mayor in the 2024 election (which he then confirmed in the post’s comments section).
In an interview with the Beat, Tran confirmed, “I do intend to run for Milpitas Mayor in 2024.” He also stated that he plans to have a campaign kickoff event on November 11 of this year. This would be Tran’s fourth campaign for Milpitas Mayor; he won the other three races.
When asked whether he plans to run against current Mayor Carmen Montano, Tran explained, “I will be running against all who enter the race.”
He added that if Montano does run for re-election, it would be their second time running against each other for the Mayoral seat, with the first time having been in 2016.
The history between Tran and Montano goes deeper. They often voted in lockstep while serving on the city council together. And Tran endorsed Montano for her 2022 mayoral run, working hard to help get her elected. Tran has also been vocal in recent years about the fact that he wouldn’t run for office again unless he felt his help was needed.
On the Milpitas City Council, councilmembers are elected for a 4-year term, while the mayor is elected for 2 years. Tran served 3 back-to-back mayoral terms, which went from 2016-2022. He was termed out of office last year, but is now free to run again for mayor in 2024.
Mayor Montano, when asked her thoughts on Tran’s campaign, stated, “I was surprised, since he said he wasn’t going to run again.” She also stated that it was “his prerogative and I’m good with it.”
Both Tran and Montano also highlighted the importance of democracy. Tran said, “The honor and privilege to be mayor is not up to me; rather it’s up to the voters of Milpitas.”
Similarly, Mayor Montano told The Beat: “In the end, it’s the people’s will that is manifested and that is democracy at its best.”
In a follow-up email to Tran, The Beat asked him what he thought about how the current city council was being run, and whether or not that has affected his decision to enter the race; but he did not respond.