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Councilman to become city’s next mayor

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POSTED November 16, 2014 6:39 p.m.

SAN JOSE (AP) — California’s third most-populous city finally knows who its next mayor will be now that Santa Clara County election officials have decided against recounting ballots in the close San Jose mayoral election.

The winner, San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo, had 51 percent of the vote as of Friday night, when only about 1,000 main-in ballots returned at polling places on Election Day remained uncounted, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Liccardo’s opponent, Santa Clara County Supervisor and fellow Democrat Dave Cortese, actually conceded the race on Monday, but its outcome remained in doubt the rest of the week as county election officials sought to address concerns that all their Election Day tallies might have been tainted by an information technology manager’s abrupt resignation the day before.

At the request of Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey, the secretary of state’s office agreed to offer its guidance and initially suggested a partial recount in the mayor’s race, the Mercury News said. But state election officials withdrew the informal recommendation on Friday, saying the county could instead follow its usual postelection procedure of performing a manual recount of 1 percent of the ballots cast in all races, the newspaper said.

County Executive Jeff Smith said local officials already had conducted their own review and concluded the IT manager’s departure did not cause any vote-counting irregularities.

“I am confident that the manual tally will confirm the election results,” Smith said.

Cortese was the top vote-getting in the June primary and had the support of the city’s labor unions thanks to his pledge to reverse portions of a voter-approved plan to reform public pensions.

He told the newspaper before plans for a partial recount were abandoned that he did not think one was necessary. At the time he conceded, he was trailing Liccardo by about 3,500 votes.

Liccardo, 44, a former prosecutor who has served on the San Jose City Council since 2006, will succeed Mayor Chuck Reed on Jan. 1. Reed is being termed out of office after leading San Jose since 2007.

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