Low, previously served as mayor of the city of Campbell, becoming the youngest Asian American and youngest LGBTQ+ mayor in the country in 2009. His father was president of a local chamber of commerce and his brother is a police officer in San Jose.
After moving to the state Legislature, the five-term lawmaker established himself as a prominent voice on LGBTQ+ rights, violence against Asian Americans and tech industry issues. But his ambition to be Assembly speaker put him at odds with leaders in the chamber; in 2021, then-Speaker Anthony Rendon stripped him of a committee chairmanship, an unusually public rebuke for his behind-the-scenes politicking.
Low, 40, will likely make his youth, as well as his Chinese American background, a selling point of his campaign. A quarter of the district’s eligible voters are Asian American.
“It’s important and personal to me to continue the legacy of those that have come before me, like Norman Minetta and Mike Honda — two individuals who were in internment camps themselves, icons in our community,” he said.
He joins a burgeoning field of Democratic hopefuls eager for a shot at the solidly blue Bay Area district.
Santa Clara Supervisor Joe Simitian has had a federal campaign account open since January, giving him a sizable fundraising headstart with nearly $700,000 on hand as of the end of September. Low projected confidence that he’d be able to catch up quickly, pointing to his deep donor base with tech executives and national LGBT advocacy groups.
Former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, who previously considered taking on Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren in a neighboring Silicon Valley district, jumped in soon after Eshoo’s announcement.
State Sen. Josh Becker is also considering a run, while Low’s colleague in the Assembly, Palo Alto Democrat Marc Berman, has ruled it out.