Ro Khanna, the former Obama administration official who’s challenging fellow Democrat Rep. Mike Honda in the 17th Congressional District, has a fundraiser scheduled for Thursday night in San Francisco with some of Silicon Valley’s big names.
Also involved are Salesforce.com founder and CEO Marc Benioff, who has hosted fundraisers for President Barack Obama; Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and her husband, Zach Bogue; Matt Cohler and Peter Fenton from Benchmark Capital General Partners; Napster developer Shawn Fanning; Dan Rose, Facebook’s vice president of business development and monetization; Dropbox general counsel Ramsey Homsany, formerly a VP at Google; and SV Angel founder and managing partner David Lee.
The cost is $2,600 for supporters, $5,200 for sponsors; the 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. reception is being held in a private room at a North Beach restaurant.
Honda, 71, started the year with about $78,000 cash on hand and raised about $214,000 in the first quarter so even the money he raised in the first quarter doesn’t put him anywhere close to the $1 million bankroll that Khanna built in one blockbuster quarter back in 2011, when most folks thought he would run to succeed (but not challenge) Pete Stark.
Khanna, 36, of Fremont, raised only $18,000 in the first quarter of this year, but he was trying to remain somewhat under the radar; he didn’t formally announce his candidacy until April 2. This fundraiser might help him deliver on his promise of a much more aggressive and lucrative second quarter.
Khanna – a deputy assistant secretary in the Commerce Department from 2009 to 2011, now of counsel to Silicon Valley law powerhouse Wilson Sonsini – may be hobnobbing with the tech elite but he’s not neglecting his grassroots, either. He’s scheduled to hold the latest of his community meet-and-greets over Memorial Day weekend: a potluck lunch from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 25 in Almaden Quicksilver County Park along San Jose’s southern edge.