Today’s story about local school board candidates raising money for their campaigns named Fremont’s Bryan Gebhardt as the top fundraiser, having amassed $34,296.
Well, he may be the biggest fundraiser among school board candidates in the Tri-City area, but he’s no match for the politicians in the West Contra Costa school district.
There, incumbent Karen Pfeifer has raised nearly $100K (about what the five candidates in Fremont have raised collectively), and Robert Studdiford has collected about $42K.
According to my colleague at the CCT, the West Contra Costa school district is in the midst of a $1 billion bond program, with most schools being rebuilt. The architects, vendors and unions working on these projects are giving tens of thousands of dollars to their preferred candidates, and the amount of their contributions have grown the past two years. In ’06, one candidate raised about $135K and another collected about $80K.
Just so you know, the amount of money school board candidates in West Contra Costa County are raising is not the norm. In an informal survey of ed reporters in our chain, it appears most school board candidates in the area have raised $25K or less. (Note: In the Mt. Diablo district, the teachers union apparently has spent about $50K to promote the candidates they’re supporting, but that money was not given directly to the candidates.)