Former SJ mayor becomes 2nd person to file papers for 16th Dist. congressional seat

Former San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo, Thursday, became the second person to show interest in running for the congressional seat soon-to-be vacated by the retiring Rep. Anna Eshoo, (D) 16 Dist. He filed paperwork to run for that congressional seat.

"We’re doing all the steps we need to do, the due diligence, talking to a lot of thought leaders in the community about how the federal government can better help us better address homelessness and crime and the rising cost of living. And, I’ll make a decision very soon," said Liccardo.

A stone’s throw from Liccardo sits Santa Clara Supervisor Joe Simitian’s office. He had already launched his campaign for congressional office 24 hours earlier.

"I think I can make a difference. I think people have to step up and make a difference. And I think our government can and should be improving the quality of the lives of the people in our area," said Simitian.

By mid-afternoon, a third possible candidate, St. Sen. Josh Becker, (D) 13 Dist., said he could also put his toe in this political pool.

"I’m considering the congressional run. It’s a new world out there. I’ve got lots of fresh ideas to share. And I’m working to make the most intentional decision I can," said Becker.

The pending Democratic Party free-for-all for this coveted Silicon Valley seat stems from Eshoo’s retirement at the end of her current term, in Jan. 2025.

"Oh I think it’s time. It’s time….I’m not running away from anything," she said, when talking to KTVU on Nov. 21 about her decision to retire from political life after three decades in office.

The three possible successors tout their work on the environment, housing, homeless services, and women’s reproductive rights.

Sonoma State Univ. political scientist Dr. David McCuan said the growing field of contenders will make an interesting primary.

"Because of this shift over what’s been happening under term limits, and kind of this backlog of pressure, there will be a competitive democratic primary," he said. "I’d pay close attention to whether a female heavyweight enters into this contest."

The most prominent woman in South Bay politics, two-time would-be San Jose mayor Cindy Chavez, said she’s not interested in running for Eshoo’s congressional seat. Both Liccardo and Becker have until next week to formerly toss their hats into the ring.

Jesse Gary is a reporter based in the station's South Bay bureau. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter), @JesseKTVU and on Instagram, @jessegontv