Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo filed the official paperwork today to run for U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo’s open congressional seat, but said he hasn’t made a decision on whether he’s running.
Last week, Eshoo, 80, announced she’d be retiring after more than three decades in Congress. She was last re-elected in 2022 and her term ends January 2025. The District 16 seat runs from the Peninsula down through the South Bay from Pacifica in the north to San Jose, Los Gatos and Pescadero in the south.
“I am taking steps necessary to explore a winning race for Congress to make sure our local communities have the support we need from Washington to address homelessness, reduce crime and protect residents from the rising cost of living,” Liccardo said. “After completing all my due diligence, I’ll make a final decision before the deadline.”
Earlier this year, Liccardo confirmed to The Mercury News that he was considering a bid for Congress. He was elected to the San Jose City Council in 2006, where he represented the downtown area. In 2014, he beat out now California State Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) to become the city’s 65th mayor. Liccardo handily won re-election in 2018 with 76% of the vote and termed out in 2022.
Since leaving office, he’s been a lecturer at Stanford Law School and is the senior advisor and counsel for California civic initiatives at San Francisco-based Ground Floor Public Affairs.
While mayor, Liccardo focused on closing the digital divide by providing internet access and devices for nearly 10,000 low-income students, advocated to turn PG&E into a customer-owned cooperative and spearheaded quick-build transitional homes for the city’s homeless residents.
The former mayor’s decision to run for Congress comes just one day after Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian announced his bid. The supervisor has been eyeing Eshoo’s seat for years and in 2009 formed a committee, Friends of Simitian. Since then, Simitian’s brought in more than $600,000 in campaign cash.
More candidates are expected to jump in to what is expected to be one of the biggest congressional races in the Bay Area in years, including California State Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino).