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Silicon Valley News Notes

Pete Constant: Mayor, Sheriff Or ... What?

Speculation has run thick that San Jose will one day see a political showdown between Council rivals Sam Liccardo and Pete Constant in a race for mayor. Perhaps that's just wishful thinking among people who can't wait to watch the two pols go at it. But here's a new twist. Fly just caught wind that Constant is entertaining the idea of running for Santa Clara County sheriff instead. Makes sense, he says, considering his dual background as a cop and elected politician. Constant obviously isn't prepared to commit, but he did say last week that a run for sheriff was indeed on his mind. "It's a possibility," he said. "However, I wouldn't run against Laurie Smith." Why not? "I wouldn't beat her," he confesses. Smart move not to take on Smith, considering the two Republicans are friends and have historically supported one another. In the Blue Bastion of Santa Clara County, Republicans need to keep what friends they have. Smith, who was first elected sheriff in 1999, announced her re-election campaign the day after Fly spoke to Constant. That probably means Constant has some time to make up his mind about whether he will run for mayor—or maybe state Assembly? "Anything is possible at this point," Constant says. "I have about two years before I have to make a decision, and all my energy is focused on my re-election." Not that it matters, but the mayor gets paid $127,000, while an assemblymember makes $113,000. The sheriff makes $231,804.

Nora Campos: Mayor, Assemblymember, Or ... What?

Perhaps Councilwoman Nora Campos' trek to the state Capitol Wednesday is an omen of what's to come Thursday. After much speculation, the District 5 council rep says she will publicly announce her plans for public office in 2010. Her staffers stayed tight-lipped about it, only saying that she has decided to hold off on her announcement until Thursday for personal reasons. It's been a poorly kept secret that Campos entertains ambitions for higher office. Campos' staffers have been grooming her public persona over the past year. She has gotten a lot of attention by positioning herself as Mayor Chuck Reed's opposition leader, sparking speculation that she planned to run against him next year. While she has been openly test-ballooning the possibility of an mayoral run, she has also dropped hints about wanting to run for Assemblyman Joe Coto's seat, says Rolando Bonilla, Campos' spokesman. "Those are the two seats she has legitimately been thinking about the last year," Bonilla says. "She has made the decision she is comfortable with, and more importantly, at the end of the day, what will best for San Jose."


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