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Tuesday, February 27, 2024
NewsGovernmentRich Tran returns: Former Milpitas mayor to run again in 2024

Rich Tran returns: Former Milpitas mayor to run again in 2024

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.


Maria Denise Cuenca
Maria Denise Cuenca
Maria Denise Cuenca is a Senior at Milpitas Middle College High School. As part of the inaugural class, she’s the editor for the student newspaper, the Stepping Stone, and works concurrently as the President of the school’s She’s the First Chapter, an organization that supports girl-centered programs throughout the world. As a writer for the Milpitas Beat, she has the opportunity to write about issues relating to homelessness, local politics, and women’s rights. For over a year, she’s been a proud intern for Camp ButterFLY, where she organizes meetings, designs flyers, and does marketing for the organization to further their mission of teaching women to be leaders and find a path towards a career. During her free time, she enjoys watching shows on Netflix and reading the news.


  1. It’s been so peaceful with the new mayor. Maybe latching on to the authoritarian trend? I guess it will give the Beat more to write about.

  2. Rich Tran is a do-nothing joke of a worthless politician we can do without. Please go away and take your sorry act elsewhere.

    • Tran always had to fight the leftest obstructionists Phan and Dominguez which really prevented him from getting more done for us residents. Dominguez lost her seat because of, well, her performance and lack of self discipline in the City Council meetings. Phan has his own related legal issues. Montano has been able to work to progress with the Counsel since then. Tran is a force to be dealt with because wants to get things done and he does. His aggressiveness was labelled, “bully, authoritarian”, etc. by professional victims, but he stood up to the personal attacks to work for us. He got the job done in spite of his detractors and the socialistic reporting and opinions published in the Milpitas post. With Tran and Montano working together, and half the disrupters gone, they should really be able make great strides on addressing the concerns of Milpitians.

  3. In May, City Manager Steve McHarris filed a claim against the city alleging mistreatment by Chua, Mayor Carmen Montano, and Tran. That claim included a bribery transaction between outgoing Mayor Tran and now-Mayor Montano.
    Here is the definition of bribery: The act or practice of giving or taking a bribe, or of influencing or being influenced by a bribe or bribes; especially, the act of paying or receiving, or of agreeing to pay or receive, a reward other than legal compensation for the exercise of official or delegated power irrespective of the dictates of duty, or for a false judgment or testimony, or for the performance of that which is known to be illegal or unjust.
    Key to the complaint is a repeated assertion that former Mayor Rich Tran told City Council/Mayoral candidates that if they wanted him to endorse them in the 2022 election, they would need to remove Steve McHarris from his job as a first order of business if elected. McHarris claims that both Mayor Montano and Councilmember Garry Barbadillo, who were both heavily endorsed by Tran during election season, were subject to this arrangement. As all parties kept their end of the bargain, they all appear to be guilty of bribery.
    Find the complaint at https://meansfordemocracy.org/City-Manager-Steve-McHarris.pdf

    • “City Manager Steve McHarris filed a claim…” “repeated assertion” “McHarris claims” Anyone can claim anything without proof. You can indite a ham sandwich claiming it shot Kennedy. Has it ever been proven? “they all appear to be guilty of bribery” What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

      • Mr. Mercado’s concerned that we not jump to conclusions about the guilt of Tran and Montano is noted. Unfortunately, neither Tran nor Montano have provided an alternative explanation of the facts (Tran campaigned for Montano, and Montano voted to fire McHarris without cause) that counter the public accusation from a person most people consider trustworthy. (Apparently, unlike myself, Mr. Mercado trusts Tran/Montano more than McHarris.) No, they have not been convicted of the crime of bribery, but it sure appears they are guilty. Trump has not been convicted of the 91 crimes he’s been charged with, but it sure appears he is also guilty.

        • I know, to some perception is reality, but to those who think, it’s not. And as far as Trump goes, you don’t think politics were involved in generating those indictments, do you? Can you say, “Collusion”? I knew you could.

  4. Montana is a great mayor. We don’t need Rich; he did nothing for the community, and on top of that, he created so much nuisance. The Home Key Project, a homeless shelter, was created under Rich Tran’s leadership.

    We need new people to take on leadership roles, and Montana is doing a great job. We should give her more time

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