Gilbert Wong officially announced at a reception Thursday night his intent to run for reelection for .
Among the dozens of supporters were California State Assemblyman (D-Cupertino,) Cupertino City Councilmen Orrin Mahoney and Mark Santoro, Mountain View Councilmember and former Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga, former Cupertino Mayors Patrick Kwok, Michael Chang and Barbara Rogers, and San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra.
“Gilbert is an outstanding leader; he’s done a great job leading this city and he’s my point person when I need to find out about things in the city of Cupertino,” Fong says.
“He knows everything. He represents the city with distinction. He’s outstanding, he’s open; he’s accessible.”
Wong was praised not only for his leadership in the community, but for his passion for the people who live and work in Cupertino.
“Gilbert as council member and now this year as mayor has really shown his leadership, shown the way that he cares about different groups of people, cares about policy, and cares about our different communities,” says Michael Chang.
The event held at Cupertino Inn was a magnet for leaders in the Asian American business community and included Vicky Tsai, a recent CREST (Cupertino Recognizes Extra Steps Taken) Award winner, who supports Wong in reelection.
Wong was endorsed by Councilman Orrin Mahoney, who noted that when he was running for his seat two years ago, Wong endorsed another candidate.
“Having worked with Gilbert now in depth and seeing how he operates on the council and how he operates as mayor this year, and in some challenging times, he’s done a great job,” Mahoney says. “The only thing he has to learn is to let stuff roll off him a little bit. He takes it a little bit too personally sometimes when things get tough.”
Councilman Mark Santoro, who also endorses Wong, says Wong is always on the go, doing something on behalf of the city.
“I sort of see Gilbert as the Energizer Bunny. People always accuse me of being everywhere and having too much energy and getting in the middle of everything, but I’m always behind Gilbert,” Santoro says.
“Every time you show up somewhere he’s already there. He’s always calling me; he’s driving back from Sacramento or going somewhere to do something. I don’t think he sleeps more than a couple hours a night. He’s amazingly energetic.”
What seemed to resonate most with Santoro was how he says Wong prepares for meetings and maintains an open mind on issues.
“What I look for in a council member is somebody who does their homework before they get to the meeting but is still willing to listen to people and try to make a fair decision, and an informed decision, but can actually be swayed by members of the public that get up and talk. I’ve seen Gilbert change his mind on things,” Santoro says.