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In a tie for second, Joe Simitian and Evan Low face the prospect of a recount

Sam Liccardo leads 16th district primary, advances to general election, second spot still contested
Art+by+Kate+Xia
Art by Kate Xia

After a tie for second place between two contestants in California’s 16th Congressional District election to replace outgoing Rep. Anna Eshoo, two individuals have asked for a recount.

The winner of this election will be the first new representative for the 16th district since Eshoo took office 32 years ago. Frontrunner and former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo ended the race with 38,489 votes, more than 8,000 votes ahead of the two second-place finishers.

But California changed to a top-two system for Congressional races in 2012, and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and California Representative Evan Low both ended this race with 30,249 votes.

According to KQED, the two individuals who both separately demanded a recount, are Jonathan Padilla, Licciardo’s finance director for his 2014 campaign for mayor, and Pacifica resident Dan Stegink.

Eshoo, who is set to retire in the fall, said in an email to The Campanile that she wants to know the motives behind the two people who demanded the recount.

“My questions are: Who is paying for this and under what auspices?” Eshoo said. “The voters of my congressional district deserve to know the answer.”

Additionally, Eshoo said the same rules that apply to her should be applied to any other candidates out of fairness.

“Just as I’ve been required to follow full disclosure every year of who has made contributions to me and in what sum, so too should the person who has requested the recount,” Eshoo said.

Regardless of who’s funding the recount, junior Zachary Crystal said he saw it coming.

“I didn’t know how it was going to end and finally they tied, so that was crazy,” Crystal said. “I’m not surprised that a recount was requested though.”

Crystal also said the recount will help the election accurately represent what the people want.

“It makes sense to have a recount because having three candidates that could be seen as pretty similar could split the votes in a way where the winning candidate might not be the actual favorite choice,” Crystal said.

Sophomore Finnegan Schoebel disagreed, and said the recount is a waste of time and not worth it.

“It’s silly to ask for a recount because it’s not going to make more than superficial changes, and it’s delaying the peaceful transfer of power,” Schoebel said. “Considering all these factors, it’s basically just a publicity stunt.”

History teacher Adam Yonkers said this election highlights the importance of every eligible person voting, regardless of their political beliefs.

“Democracy matters and your vote counts, it was just so close,” Yonkers said. “That’s one of the things we sometimes forget about, and the outcome of this election is a great reminder of that.”

The campaigns of Liccardo, Low, and Simitian did not respond to The Campanile’s requests for an interview.

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Meryem Orazova
Meryem Orazova, Staff Writer
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