As I See It – Corona shaping the face of national and local politics


The corona virus pandemic, whether we like it or not, is changing the political landscape, nationally and locally. In fact, it is dictating the tempo and direction of politics in the country today, and both the Republicans and the Democrats are adjusting to it to be able to keep both parties receptive to their constituents.

Nationally, former President Donald Trump is slowly but surely tweaking the political activities in the Republican Party (GOP) making sure that with local wins from governors to congressmen in 2022, he will be able to run in the 2024 presidential election ensuring his political comeback in the Oval Office. That will bolster his chances of winning! But the question is: Will the American people go for it? 

The first setback, however, was delivered by California Governor Gavin Newsom who retained his position as governor by winning in the recall election spearheaded by the Republicans. This, I think, is the first blow for Trump in consolidating his efforts toward his political goal in 2022 and 2024. According to analysts, Newsom won because of his handling of the corona virus pandemic although others say he won because there was no strong candidate to oppose him unlike during the recall election of then California Governor Gray Davis. There was a strong candidate at that time in the person of popular actor and politically affiliated leader with the affluent Kennedy family, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who eventually won the recall election.

However, a win for Trump was registered when the latest decision of a Texas court banning abortion after six weeks. The Republicans are capitalizing on this, and this may even endanger the Roe v. Wade established decision by the Supreme Court with most of the justices in the side of Trump along this line.

With one more year (18 months to be exact), there will still be many instances that will shape the comeback ambition of Trump in the political limelight. There are about 3 to 4 incumbent Republican senators retiring and will not be seeking reelection. As of to date, they still do not have strong candidates to replace them. Also, there are incumbent Democrats that are set for reelection and there are no strong Republican candidates to oppose them.

Lately, Trump started consulting his advisers for his candidacy for president in 2024 as the Afghanistan fiasco continue to rock the boat of US politics. He thinks that President Joe Biden mishandled the 20-year-old Afghanistan war by irresponsibly withdrawing the troops creating problems that caused the lives of soldiers and allies of the US in Afghanistan. This is still ongoing, and the Biden administration is still at the thick of the problem which Trump can capitalize to advance his political agenda.

Other developments are shaping up that will continue to define the structure of the political landscape come 2022 and 2024. It is still a wait-and-see scenario for both the Republicans and the Democrats and other political parties.

Locally, here in Milpitas, current vice Mayor Carmen Montano has launched her candidacy for Mayor and is holding her first political rally (Campaign Kick Off Party) on Sunday, October 10, 2021, at the Sunnyhills Augustine Memorial Park, at 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

In her flyer, she said she is “a champion for our neighborhood,” a long-time resident of Milpitas, and has a history of keeping Milpitas as one of the best and safest cities to live in. She is an educator by profession (public school teacher), a councilmember, former vice president of the Milpitas School Board, and a former Vice-chair of the Library Education and Advisory Commission (LEAC). 

So far, she was the only one who filed her candidacy. Former Vice Mayor and incumbent councilmember Karina Dominguez may also file her candidacy anytime and oppose Montano. She has been actively advocating changes in Milpitas and is an ardent proponent for change.

Of course, city commissioner Voltaire Montemayor may again file his candidacy for mayor. He attempted twice in the past and his third attempt may give him a chance to win without incumbent Mayor Rich Tran, who is termed out, whom he fought and lost twice.

Former Vice Mayor Armando Gomez may also run for mayor. He has been observing in the sidelines and waiting for opportunity to launch his political comeback. Now that the incumbent mayor is not running, he thought it might be the time to run.

There is also a possibility that former Milpitas Mayor Henry Manayan will run again. He did it before and…  he may have to do it again, also an opportune time for him to come back. 

What about the city council? If Dominguez will run for mayor and Montano running for mayor, there will be no incumbent councilmember in the race. This will give way to other candidates to fill out the two slots for election and an opportunity for them to claim victory.

There are clamors for former councilmember Atty. Gary Barbadillo to run. He was a former Milpitas citizen of the year, a distinguished lawyer voted as best lawyer in the annual search by Milpitas Post, and a successful law practitioner. He is a family lawyer and a great community leader.

Chris Norwood, Milpitas School Board Trustee President, may also run for city council. He has been active lately and is a proponent of education for the youth of Milpitas. 

Will corona anoint the next leaders of the country, nationally and locally, as it did two years ago?

Let us exercise our right to vote, fellow Milpitians… and vote wisely!