Abe-Koga — former mayor and second term council member — declared her candidacy in September, seeking to fill the seat being vacated by Liz Kniss of Palo Alto. But she had second thoughts after Simitian entered the race in November and on Thursday, Jan. 5, she announced she was stepping out of the race.
"When you run a campaign you have to look at your chances and who else is in the race," Abe-Koga said. Simitian is "a friend of mine. I've known him almost 20 years. We share similar values. Given the situation, and talking with my family and friends and supporters, I realized this is the best decision to make; withdraw from the race and support Joe."
In a letter to supporters, Abe-Koga called Simitian, "a dedicated public servant who has served Santa Clara County with distinction, hard work, and constancy. His service as a county supervisor, state Assembly member, and state Senator has steeped Joe in the issues that matter most to the people of this district."
Abe-Koga will now able to focus her efforts this year on her City Council work, as she has three years left on the council.
"I'm fortunate that I am able to continue to do my work on the City Council," Abe-Koga said. "I look at it as a win-win."
Abe-Koga also continues to represent Mountain View on the Valley Transportation Authority and after serving as chair last year, she was appointed to serve another two-year term, making her the longest serving Mountain View representative to serve on the board.
Simitian now faces Kathleen King of Saratoga as the only other candidate in the race. Simitian's long term plans for a seat in Congress have reportedly been derailed by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo's plans to run for another term.