While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic may have hampered traditional campaigning this election season, hundreds of thousands of dollars are still flowing into local San Ramon Valley elections.
In the remaining days before the Nov. 3 Election, candidates for the San Ramon mayoral and City Council, Danville Town Council and San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education elections have released campaign financing statements revealing the cost of running for office.
From hundreds if not thousands of individual residents contributing funds, to larger political action committees and groups donating in the thousands, figures released by the Contra Costa County Elections Division and local municipalities show that running for office can be a costly endeavor.
To look up more detailed information about each candidate, including a full list of contributors and expenditures made, residents can feel free check campaign documents for the city of San Ramon, town of Danville and other races in Contra costa County --including the SRVUSD -- online.
San Ramon Mayoral
In the race to lead San Ramon as mayor, chief medical officer Dr. Dinesh Govindarao, City Councilman Dave Hudson, small business owner Aparna Madireddi, small business owner Susmita Nayak, businessman Sanat Sethy and Vice Mayor Sabina Zafar are all squaring off.
In her bid for mayor, Madireddi is by far the most well-funded candidate in the San Ramon Valley. According to her campaign financing statements filed on Oct. 22, Madireddi has raised $82,929.12 in year to date in monetary and non-monetary contributions and loans and has reported $69,162.15 in expenditures.
Among Madireddi's largest financial supporters are former San Ramon city council member Jim Blickenstaff and former mayor Gregory Carr, who have contributed $22,741 and $12,500 respectively in loans and non-monetary contributions. Blickenstaff also spent $10,242 in an independent expenditure to print and mail flyers on Madireddi's behalf.
Vice mayor Zafar is heavily funded by a mix of individual donors, political action committees and prominent regional leaders, and as of Oct. 20 has collected $51,380 while spending $42,085.91.
A number of labor and PAC groups donated to Zafar, including IBEW 302 Committee Candidates PAC ($2,000), the Sprinkler Fitters and Apprentices Local 483 in Hayward ($1,000), and Laborers International No. 324 ($750). Additionally, the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club and California Laborers for Equality and Progress each provided Zafar with $1,000. The California Real Estate Political Action Committee (PAC) -- a donor that has repeatedly contributed to multiple races throughout the region -- contributed $1,500 to Zafar's campaign.
A number of regional leaders also contributed to Zafar's campaign, with Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) Governing Board vice president Andy Li gave $100 left over from his 2018 campaign, while Dublin City Council members Melissa Hernandez and Shawn Kumagai contributed $200 and $500, respectively.
State Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) also contributed $500 from her 2020 re-election campaign to Zafar.
Longtime City Councilman Hudson has reported $14,184 in total contributions and $13,946.82 in expenditures according to campaign financing statements filed on Oct. 19. Over recent weeks, Hudson's campaign was infused with a $1,000 boost from the Sacramento-based Lincoln Club, $500 from the Build Jobs PAC and $500 from Black Mountain Development in Pleasanton, in addition to a number of individual donations from residents ranging from $100 to $1000.
Dr. Govindarao recorded $7,106.94 in total year-to-date contributions and has made $7,477.13 in total expenditures, according to his campaign financing statement filed on Oct. 22. Largely collected from individual donors who gave between $100 to $500, Govindarao has contributed $2,843 in loans toward his own campaign. One of his largest single contributions came from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee (PAC) -- a donor that has repeatedly contributed to multiple races throughout the region -- which donated $1,000 to him on Aug. 17.
Candidate Nayak collected a more modest amount compared to her competitors, having collected $218.89 from herself and individual contributors, while expending $3,851.93 as of Oct. 22.
Mayoral candidate Sethy has also garnered modest contributions compared to other candidates, having in fact reported $0 as of Oct. 26, while recording $6,106.87 in election related expenses.
San Ramon City Council
Two council races are currently underway in San Ramon, with incumbent council member Scott Perkins squaring off against public health professional Luz Gómez to represent District 1, while tech professional Varun Kaushal, professor Reza Majlesi, community organizer Sameera Rajwade and parks commissioner Sridhar Verose seek to prevail in a crowded contest to represent District 3.
In the race to represent San Ramon's District 1 on the City Council, Gomez has recorded $39,271 in contributions and $16,985.01 in expenses as of Oct. 22.
A number of labor and PAC groups contributed to Gómez's campaign, such as the IBEW 302 Community Candidates PAC which contributed $1,500, the Operating Engineers Local Union No.3 which contributed $1,000, the Labor International Union of North America which added $750 and the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club who contributed $350.
Additionally, former San Ramon city council member Blickenstaff -- who contributed heavily to Madireddi's mayoral campaign -- contributed $9,000 to Gómez and made an independent expenditure of $3,228 to print and mail a flyer on her behalf.
Incumbent councilman Perkins has reported $19,308.99 in contributions and $19,453.11 in expenditures as of Oct. 22.
A number of well-known local and regional leaders have contributed to Perkins campaign including both San Ramon Valley mayors, with San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson contributing $150 and Danville Mayor Karen Stepper adding on $100. Other local leaders who have donated to Perkins campaign include outgoing San Ramon City Councilman Phil O'Loane ($500), Contra Costa County Supervisor Candace Andersen ($200), Danville Town Council members Robert Storer ($200) and Newell Arnerich ($100) and District 3 City Council candidate Verose ($100).
Additionally, Perkins received a $1,000 influx from the California Real Estate PAC and $750 from the Lincoln Club of Northern California PAC.
In the four-way race for San Ramon's District 3, parks commission Verose leads the pack in campaign contributions by a large margin. According to campaign finance statements filed on Oct. 21, he has recorded $15,016 in contributions and has had $12,655.81 in expenditures.
Contributions to Verose's campaign include various labor and PAC groups including $2,000 from IBEW 302 Community Candidates PAC, $750 from Laborers Local 324, $300 from the Northern California Carpenters Council and $250 from the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club. A number of local leaders also contributed to Verose, such as outgoing council member O'Loane ($1,000) and CCCCD's Li ($100), and $150 from the 2018 committee to reelect Mayor Clarkson.
As of Oct. 17, community organizer Rajwade has reported $2,819.10 in contributions against $1,598.15 in expenditures. While Rajwade has received several $100 contributions and one $300 from individual residents, $2,119.10 has come from donors contributing less than $100.
Professor Majlesi is primarily self-funded according to contribution filings, and as of Sept. 24 has contributed $1,519.99 and recorded $939.58 in expenditures.
Candidate Kaushal did not have any financial disclosure forms submitted to the city.
Danville Town Council
The crowded race to serve on the Danville Town council has nine candidates competing for three available at-large council seats on the Nov. 3 ballot.
One of the region's most highly competitive contests, the race for Town Council features incumbent council members Newell Arnerich and Renee Morgan and newcomers business owner Mohamed Elsherbini, senior commissioner David Fong, tech engineer Nasser Mirzai, business consultant PJ Shelton, former town commissioner Turner Stanton, businessman Allen Timmons and retired police officer Kevin Traylor.
Incumbent Renee Morgan leads the pack in terms of total contributions, having garnered $41,374, which includes an approximate $28,000 loan from Morgan to her campaign, against $27,281.19 in expenditures from a collection of local residents, leaders and PAC groups.
Local leaders and prominent community members who have contributed to Morgan's campaign include $1,000 from the Storer family, $250 from State Senator Steve Glazer and $200 a piece from Supervisor Andersen, councilman Perkins and Mayor Stepper. Morgan has also garnered $2,000 from the California Real Estate PAC and $500 from the Lincoln Club of Northern California.
The town's longest tenured council member, Arnerich has seen $29,206 in contributions -- many of which have been from individual residents that range from $100 to $2,500 -- against $26,509.91 in expenditures, according to financial statements filed on Oct. 22.
Arnerich's campaign has seen a number of donors who hold leadership positions throughout the region, contributions include $1,000 from fellow council member Robert Storer and Sandra Storer, $500 from CCCCD's Li, $200 from Mayor Stepper, $200 from San Ramon councilman Perkins and $100 from outgoing councilwoman Lisa Blackwell.
Additionally, Arnerich has seen contributions from a number of groups including $2,000 from the California Real Estate PAC, $500 from the Overseas Chinese Cultural Heritage Foundation and $100 from San Ramon Grace Christian Church.
Primarily self-financed, candidate Dave Fong has garnered $21,285.65 in total year to date contributions while recording $19,073.87 in expenditures. While he contributed $15,210.65 toward his own campaign in total contributions and loans, Fong has also received cash infusions of $1,500 from the California Real Estate PAC and $200 from the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club.
In a show of support from the current administration, Fong has also received a $500 contribution from his opponent Arnerich, as well as $200 from outgoing councilwoman Blackwell.
Rounding out the list, candidate Turner Stanton has reported $19,718 in contributions and documented $14,181.25 in expenditures. Primarily collected from donations of $100 to $500, Stanton has also received $1,500 from the California Real Estate PAC, $250 from the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club and $200 from Mayor Stepper.
Candidate Mohamed Elsherbini has drummed up $5,027 in year to date contributions -- $900 of which was raised from five donors over the past month -- while expending $1,550 as of his Oct. 22 filing. Funds raised by Elsherbini were primarily contributed by individual donors and ranged from $100 to $500.
Candidate PJ Shelton is running a completely self-financed campaign according to campaign finance forms filed on Oct. 22, and so far has contributed $3,790 to her campaign against $2,767 of expenditures.
Candidates Allen Timmons, Kevin Traylor and Nasser Mirzai did not have any campaign financial reports as of Wednesday.
San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education
In the race to lead the SRVUSD on the Board of Education, the Nov. 3 ballot will feature current Board President Greg Marvel, local business owner Shelley Clark and SRVUSD parent Priscilla Graft competing for the seat in Trustee Area 2, and community volunteer Laura Bratt, project manager Kumar Nallusamy and San Ramon Valley Education Foundation board member Scott Roberts competing for Trustee Area 3.
Of the Trustee Area 2 candidates, Clark leads the pack in total contributions, recording $15,820.20 against $12,541.55 in expenditures, according to campaign financing forms filed on Oct. 21.
Collecting contributions from a number of local and regional labor and PAC groups, Clark has recorded $1,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 302, $500 from the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club, $300 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, $250 form the Laborers International Union of North America Local No. 324, $200 a piece from the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 16 and Contra Costa United Working Families and $100 from the San Ramon Valley Education Association PAC Fund -- the SRVUSD's teacher's union.
She has also recorded $1,000 from former California State Assemblymember Joan Buchanan and $100 from Danville council member Blackwell.
Graft has reported $3,960 in total contributions and $3,123.24 in expenditures as of Oct. 22, with donations from individual donors mostly ranging from $100- $500.
Current board president Marvel has so far spent less than $2,000 and is exempt from needing to file campaign financing statements with Contra Costa County.
Over in SRVUSD's District 3, Roberts, who is primarily self-financed, has reported $22,250 in total contributions against $6,498 in expenditures.
Although mostly paying his own way, he has received financial support from CCCCD's Li who contributed $500 and San Ramon Mayor Clarkson who contributed $150 left over from his 2016 mayoral campaign.
Bratt has received $1,500 in contributions from SRVEA in addition to $400 from the San Ramon Valley Democratic Club, helping propel her to $5,825 in total contributions and $4,595.42 in expenditures as of Oct. 21. Former state assemblymember Buchanan also contributed $500 toward Bratt's campaign.
Also primarily self-financed, District 3 candidate Nallusamy has recorded $4,929 in total contributions as of Oct. 18 but has yet to record any campaign related expenditures.