SAN JOSE -- Six candidates qualified by Wednesday's 5 p.m. deadline to run in the June 4 special election to replace former District 2 Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr., according to the Registrar of Voters office.

The candidates are: Teresa Alvarado, 48, a communications manager at the Santa Clara Valley Water District and daughter of former District 2 Supervisor Blanca Alvarado; Cindy Chavez, 48, former San Jose vice mayor, former executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council and current director of its think tank, Working Partnerships USA; Joseph La Jeunesse, 44, a Santa Clara County sheriff's deputy and major in the U.S. Army Reserve; Scott Hung Pham, 49, a San Jose City College language instructor and former Alum Rock Union School District trustee; Patricia Martinez-Roach, 63, a teacher in the Franklin-McKinley School District, and David Wall, 58, a retired San Jose city worker.

The registrar's office confirmed that each candidate lives in the district, has been a registered voter since at least Feb. 25, paid a $1,430.31 filing fee and collected a minimum of 20 valid signatures from registered voters in the district.

The 118,000 registered voters in the district will have to hand the winner 50 percent of the vote plus one to capture the seat; failing that, a runoff will be held July 30, a scenario that San Jose State political science professor Larry Gerston believes is likely.

While Alvarado and Chavez have wide name recognition, he said, Martinez-Roach's name is fairly well known as well, having run for several offices over the years, most recently against incumbent San Jose City Councilwoman Rose Herrera.


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"I would say the first-tier of well-recognized candidates are those three," said Gerston. "And whenever more than one candidate has high name recognition, it's highly improbable that any single candidate will emerge with 50 percent of the vote, plus one.

"It's sort of looking like a windowpane that has been hit by a baseball," said Gerston. "There are all these fissures, and it's very hard for one real congealed group of voters who would comprise a majority."

Officials estimate it will cost $1 million to hold the June 4 election and another $1 million for the runoff, if needed.

To vote, residents must live in the district and be registered to vote by May 20. Mail-in ballots will be sent out on May 6.

Shirakawa, 51, was forced to resign March 1 amid charges that he misused taxpayer and campaign funds. He pleaded guilty to those crimes March 18 and faces sentencing sometime in May.

Contact Tracy Seipel at 408 275-0140.