In the tightly contested June 3 races for the Oakland City Council, incumbent councilmembers are predictably winning the important fund-raising battles, with 5th District Councilmember and Council President Ignacio De La Fuente leading the way.
De La Fuente raised $66,380 in the two months March 18 and May 17, the most recent campaign finance reporting period, and has raised $147,480 in campaign contributions since the first of the year.
By contrast, the council president’s main District 5 opponent, realtor Mario Juarez, raised $32,569 in the last two months and $50,401 since the beginning of the year. Juarez’ fund-raising totals would put him near or at the top in campaign contributions in any of the other four contested Oakland City Council races this year, including the At-Large position, but places him a distant second to the powerful incumbent.
De La Fuente’s two other challengers, former Councilmember Wilson Riles’ staff member David Wofford, and small business owner Beverly Blythe, did not report contributions, and are not expected to be competitive in the race.
In Oakland’s third district, longtime incumbent Nancy Nadel was also ahead of her challengers in fund-raising, reporting $46,124 raised in the last two months, $65,780 since the beginning of the year. Covenant House Development Director and political newcomer Sean Sullivan is second in fund-raising with $29,180 in contributions in the last two months, $48,073 since the beginning of the year.
District 3 Oakland School Board Member Greg Hodge, who was expected to provide the stiffest challenge to Nadel in the June 3 election, is trailing badly in fund-raising, reporting $5,932 in contributions in the last two months, $7,232 since the beginning of the year.
The results were similar in the council District 7, where incumbent Councilmember Larry Reid started fund-raising late, but quickly took the lead. Reid raised $34,509 in the last two months after raising less than $1,000 between January and mid-March. His opponent, East Oakland neighborhood activist Clifford Gilmore, raised $8,960 in the last two months, $13,145 since the beginning of the year.
In District 1, incumbent Jane Brunner reported $42,535 in contributions in the last two months, and $7,000 more in the first two and a half months of the year. North Oakland neighborhood activist Patrick McCullough, her opponent, has not yet filed a campaign finance report for the current period.
With at-large council incumbent Henry Chang choosing not to run for re-election, incumbents from two other East Bay political seats are running close together in fund-raising in the five-way race to succeed him. AC Transit At-Large Director Rebecca Kaplan raised $40,460 in the last two months, $61,182 since the first of the year. District One Oakland School Board Member Kerry Hamill raised slightly more than Kaplan in the last two months, $40,711, and $48,708 total since the beginning of the year.
Former AC Transit Director and Oakland Planning Commission member Clinton Killian reported $24,708 in contributions in the last two months, $33,189 since the beginning of the year. Oakland Residents for Peaceful Neighborhoods co-founder Charles Pine reported $4,569 received in the last two months, $8,304 since the first of the year. Senior citizen activist and former Community Police Advisory Board member and retired U.S. postal worker Frank Rose has not yet turned in a campaign finance report for this period.