The race for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 2 seat which Gail Steele will be vacating next year – which as I reported in May has attracted some candidates with big-time name recognition – is off to an interesting fundraising start.
Nadia Lockyer raised $69,486.50 in the year’s first half and spent very little, ending up with $67,662.83 cash on hand as of June 30. Contributions came from all over California; some of the familiar local donors included former Assemblyman Johan Klehs, D-San Leandro, ($1,000); Supervisor Scott Haggerty’s campaign committee ($500); and Alameda County Chief Assistant District Attorney Nancy O’Malley ($250), who works with Lockyer in her capacity as executive director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center. And husband state Treasurer Bill Lockyer’s 2010 reelection committee gave her committee a nonmonetary, in-kind contribution of fundraising help worth $1,687.50. But don’t worry, he can afford it – his committee had a whopping $9.38 million in the bank as of June 30.
Former state Sen. Liz Figueroa, D-Sunol, now a member of the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, is also in the race, but her midyear statement shows no fundraising at all; it says she had no cash on hand as of June 30 and outstanding debts of $1,243.95.
“I do think it’s kind of early on to do fundraising, we’re just starting,” Figueroa told me this afternoon. “My competitor is going to raise lots of money because she has resources to get lots of money and a husband who we’ve been told is going to give her as much money as she needs.”
But Figueroa said she intends to give Lockyer a run for her money. “Oh, definitely, yes. It’s my old Senate district, I’ve been in Alameda County all of my adult life, I have a very positive name recognition. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors primarily deals with health care and criminal just issues; health care was my main focus in the Legislature and I worked in the criminal justice system in Alameda County, so I have experience in both.”
In fact, Figueroa had an opinion piece published in today’s San Jose Mercury News, wherein she voiced support for public financing of election campaigns:
It’s unfortunate, but true: financial barriers have kept too many Latinos, and particularly women, from serving in elected office. Our current election system requires candidates to have personal wealth or access to networks of wealthy private donors in order to run a winning campaign. Too often, this means campaigns are won by the person with the most money rather than the most qualified candidate.
While I was fortunate to succeed in four legislative races under the current system, I also know that challenges in raising money too often keep talented candidates from being elected. The California Fair Elections Act represents the change voters want and the reform our state needs to ensure Latinos are fairly represented.
More on other candidates’ fundraising in this race, after the jump…
Hayward City Councilman Kevin Dowling reported raising $13,110 in 2009’s first half and moving $14,130.29 over from his city council campaign committee into his Board of Supervisors campaign committee. He spent $2,283.87, leaving him a cash balance of $24,956.42 as of June 30. Most of his contributions seemed to come from within the county, although San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty anted up $100.
Union City Mayor Mark Green, who ran against Steele in 1998, filed a statement saying he raised and spent no money in 2009’s first half, leaving his committee’s $1,668 balance untouched.
Union City Councilman Richard Valle reported starting the year with $200, spending $5 and having $195 cash on hand as of June 30 – with $73,700 in outstanding debt, all to himself for loans he made to his own campaign since 2005.
And, even while he runs a campaign for state Attorney General, Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico, D-Newark, also has a separate “Friends of Alberto Torrico” committee dedicated to the District 2 supervisor race. That committee reported starting 2009 with $49,435.18; raising $49,435.18 in the year’s first half; and spending $91,876.40, leaving $3,827.34 cash on hand and $1,493.87 in outstanding debt as of June 30.
“I’d opened that committee up a while ago, probably a year or two ago,” Torrico told me today. “(Current state Attorney General) Jerry Brown had and has not officially declared for governor, but over the last six months we’ve become convinced he’s running … so we’re going to close up that account. Now that we’re sure he’s running for governor, it’s all hands on deck, full steam ahead for the attorney general campaign.”