Democrats in Tied San Jose Congressional Election Try to Stop the Recount

by Ken Kurson at

Six weeks after voters went to the polls on March 5, the candidates in congressional district 16 remain unknown. And now the leading Democrats have turned on each other with election-denying language and efforts to shut down recounts that would make a red-hatted MAGA guy blush.

In the wake of Anna Eshoo’s retirement after 34 years, the deep blue district became an irresistible target for local Democratic politicians. Eleven candidates ran and the three leading candidates have been former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, and State Assemblymember Evan Low. And that’s how it came to rest—Liccardo came in first by about 8,300 votes (21.1%). And the other two came in second and — here’s where it gets hairy — tied for second. Out of over 182,135 votes cast—including 60,000 between the second- and third-place finishers—after the initial count, Simitian and Low ended up tied (16.6% each).

With California’s “jungle primary” system, the top two candidates go on to the November ballot, regardless of party. But here, with one leading vote-getter and two who are tied, all three would compete in November.

Unlike about half the states in the country, California does not offer automatic recounts for close races or even ties. So the only way to determine if there’s going to be a recount is for an outside party to request it, and then that party must pay for the recount.

Not everyone is pleased.

A lawyer steps forward

A lawyer named Jonathan Padilla—a lifelong Democrat who was a delegate for Joe Biden in 2020—requested a recount.

And the allegations coming out of this San Jose-based district—remember, all three candidates are Democrats—could have easily been at home in a Trump tweet back when that was still a thing.

A group called Count the Vote PAC has been established to support Padilla and advocate for a recount. According to one of the leaders of that PAC, who insisted on anonymity because of the hard feelings that are already taking root.