AD15: GOP challenger outraises incumbent Dem





Republican San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, in his second try for the state Assembly District 15 seat, has outpaced Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, D-Alamo, in the first major campaign finance report.

Wilson had raised $148,314 as of Dec. 31, according to the latest campaign finance report. He also loaned his campaign an additional $14,000.

Buchanan reported $86,136 in contributions but has made no personal loans to her campaign.

It’s far too early to read much into these numbers.

Buchanan was busy last year running for the 10th Congressional District. She lost badly after investing $1.1 of her own money into the Sept. 1 special primary congressional election, finishing with just 12 percent of the vote. (Democrat John Garamendi eventually won the seat.)

Critics say she is vulnerable and will have trouble raising money after such a high-profile loss and a demonstrated willingness to write big personal checks.

But Buchanan, an incumbent with plenty of name identification, is still the Democrats’ best hope to keep a seat they wrestled from Republicans two years ago. It seems unlikely that Dems will abandon her. And unless a viable Democrat emerges to run against her in the primary — and no one has surfaced yet — she has plenty of time to put together a war-chest before the general election in November.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen

  • John W.

    If you translate things into “per capita” terms, the $1.1 mil Joan spent out of pocket for the Congressional primary is more than Meg Whitman has contributed to her campaign. I’d be shocked if Wilson didn’t prevail this time for the Assembly. He didn’t wage that much of an effort before but still came close.

  • Ralph Hoffmann

    The use of the verb “outraises” in the headline of this story is interesting, considering I can’t find it in my dictionary. It could be a synonym for erection.

  • Common Tater

    Well, I certainly hope JB does as well in the AD15 race as she did in the 10th CD race. The result would be 12 percent of the vote.

  • ted ford

    I think Wilson can win this race if he casts himself as a bit more of a centrist and bridge builder. I would suggest he back away from the hard core “no new tax” pledge and follow the path of Abel Maldonado. Joan Buchanan is unoriginal in her thinking and 100% beholden to the public sector unions who have provided her financial support. My prediction is if Abram Wilson tacks to the center, he will win.

  • John W.

    Agree with Ted Ford comments about both Wilson and Buchanan. However, I don’t want Wilson to just tack to the center in the campaign, but in office too. Like most mayors, he’s a fiscally disciplined pragmatist. That’s what we need, regardless of party label. Unfortunately, what seems to happen once these people get into the legislature is that the Dems become captive to the employee unions, and the Repubs take their marching orders from Grover Norquist.

  • ted ford

    Buchanan’s upcoming vote on whether to confirm Abel Maldonado as Lt Governor will be very telling. Maldonado is the only Republican who had the bravery to cross the aisle and the support the budget proposal two years ago. For that, he was expelled from the Republican caucus. But many Democrats, led by ultra-ideologue John Burton, want to stop Maldonado’s appointment. They have zero gratitude for Maldonado’s risking of his political career in supporting the budget. I’m curious if Buchanan has enough moxie to do the right thing and vote in support of Maldonado.

  • Ted, You make it sound like Wilson is a right wing extremist when he’s already left of center.

    Wilson has very little grassroots support in AD-15. It’s hard to be inspired by Wilson because he has no message to get behind. His campaign in 2008 wasn’t as aggressive as it needed to be because of the lack of enthusiasm on the ground. If Wilson comes out in 2010 and tries to be aggressive, he’ll look like he’s trying too hard. He’ll come close again, but come up short in the general election.

  • ted ford

    Walter, I don’t think anyone else has filed a statement of intent except Buchanan and Wilson.