Mayor Rich Tran has withdrawn from the 2022 Milpitas City Council race after announcing his candidacy late last year and then proceeding to actively and publicly support his Council opponents.
Today, August 17, marked the close of the Nomination Period for all Council candidates, and the day ended with Tran having withdrawn from the race.
Tran, who’s in his third consecutive term as mayor and who spurred a breakthrough in Milpitas politics by bringing the game to social media, was widely seen as wanting to maintain continuity on the City Council despite no longer maintaining his mayoral role. However, with this new development, the Milpitas City Council is guaranteed to no longer bear a seat for Rich Tran for the first time since 2016.
In an interview with The Beat, Tran said, “I’ve been praying on the decision of whether to continue working on the City Council or not…”
He described the opportunity to serve as “incredible,” naming Vice Mayor Carmen Montano and Councilmember Evelyn Chua as standout colleagues. “On the other hand,” Tran said, “I’ve been working 24/7…It’s an opportunity for a timeout, to sit on the bench and take a breather.”
He recalls his early days as mayor, when he would be in the office ‘til 2am, trying to solve problems. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do when I get out of office. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do in various aspects of my life that I’ve missed out on.”
Namely: placing a higher priority on “faith, family, and friends.”
As to his support for the other Council candidates, Tran said, “For many elections now, I’ve endorsed and supported multiple City Council candidates. This year is no different…My 19,000 supporters, I will let them know which two candidates I’m voting for.”
The official candidates in the race are Dipak Awasthi, Garry Barbadillo, Juliette Gomez, Hon Lien, Demetress Morris, Isaac Stringer, and Michael Tsai. Tran has publicly supported Awasthi, Barbadillo, Gomez, and Lien out on the trail.
Election Day is on November 8.