SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo threw his support behind one candidate who is running to replace him as the city’s top leader.

Liccardo, who is not seeking re-election in November because of term limits, announced that he has endorsed candidate Matt Mahan.

“On important issues from homelessness, to crime, to affordable housing Matt Mahan offers a common-sense plan for progress, accountability, and pragmatic solutions,” Liccardo said Wednesday.

“Matt is the kind of common-sense Democrat we need in leadership to ensure that our government works as hard as our San Jose families, at a time when too many families struggle to balance budgets amid surging inflation,” Liccardo said.

Liccardo urged mayoral candidates to focus their campaigns on the city’s issues and shift away from political smear and fear tactics.

Liccardo criticized candidate Cindy Chavez for “disingenuous scare tactics” surrounding controversies including police staffing, public safety, and women’s reproductive freedom. “Councilmember Mahan strongly supported our budgetary decisions to add dozens of officers to the SJPD, to institute walking patrol beats in every police district, and to support expansion of Planned Parenthood’s health services to women in need. Let’s stop the false attacks and start debating the serious issues,” he said.

Mahan grew up in Watsonville in Santa Cruz County and he currently serves on the San Jose City Council.

Chavez is a San Jose native, Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors member, and former Vice Mayor of San Jose. She won her first election to San Jose’s City Council in 1998 and focused on traffic calming, building affordable housing, and promoting excellent schools.

Chavez wrote, “I’m running for San Jose Mayor because we need genuine leadership in City Hall. It’s time to have a representative who will solve the challenges impacting our families and residents.” 

“We are home to some of the most drastic examples of wealth gaps on the globe. We have people living check to check alongside people who don’t know where their next meal is going to come from. The very same city is home to some of the world’s richest engineers, executives and entrepreneurs. I believe I can keep all of our neighbors in my heart when I am mayor,” Chavez wrote. “I’ll tackle the housing crisis, homelessness, rising crime, environmental sustainability, and inequality.”