Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor Declares Reelection Victory

November 17, 2022

Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor will retain her seat for another term, after again beating back a challenge from first-term Councilmember Anthony Becker.

Gillmor declared victory Wednesday night, with 91% of ballots counted and just 687 votes separating the two.

“I thank Santa Clarans who gave me their vote and sent a message that our city is not for sale,” Gillmor said in a statement. “I am proud of our residents and hopeful about our future.”

Becker conceded the race on Wednesday, according to media reports. He did not respond to requests for comment.

The contentious race for the mayor’s seat saw the San Francisco 49ers pour roughly $2.5 million into outside campaign committees funding digital ads and mailers aimed at ousting Gillmor and promoting Becker.

Gillmor said turning back a “multi-million-dollar negative campaign” won’t change things on its own.

“We must remain steadfast if we want a city council that’s free from corruption and a city hall that operates transparently and ethically,” she said.

Gillmor, a real estate broker who runs a property management company, has been on the council a total of 18 years. She served 12 years as a councilmember during two separate stints, and has been in the mayor’s seat since she was appointed in 2016.

She won election to her first full term as mayor in 2018, defeating Becker at that time as well.

While financial support for Becker far outpaced the support for Gillmor, she was far from alone in the race. Real estate development firm Related Companies put $250,000 into a committee to support her campaign, and the Santa Clara Police Association and Santa Clara City Firefighters Union endorsed her.

Gillmor helped architect the Related’s mega deal to develop 240 acres of city land. Related’s spending in support of Gillmor in this election came months after she sent a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom, advocating that Related should not have to pay prevailing wages on that massive project.

Becker, a content moderator for a tech company, was less than 60 votes behind Gillmor in the first round of election results, and said on election night he was encouraged by the close margin. But with each update from Santa Clara County election officials, Gillmor widened her lead.

The race was defined by a divided stance on the 49ers who rent Levi’s Stadium from the city and manage it.

Gillmor has sharply opposed the NFL team, spearheading costly legal battles over everything from its day-to-day management of the stadium, to concert curfews at Levi’s Stadium and the team’s rent.

Becker was elected to the council in 2020 with significant support from the 49ers. Becker and four other councilmembers dubbed the “49er five” have faced accusations of being too favorable to the team after it spent millions supporting their campaigns in the past two elections.

Becker has claimed the mayor’s leadership has dug the city into a major financial hole, dragging out costly lawsuits over voting rights and Levi’s Stadium.

In her statement Wednesday, Gillmor said Santa Clarans can count on her.

“As Mayor, I will continue to make sure the stadium lives up to its promise, that we have quality city services and safe neighborhoods.” she said. “All these goals are possible if we work together to put our city’s interests first.”

Contact Joseph Geha at or @josephgeha16 on Twitter.

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