With fewer than 100 days before the November election, well-financed battles have emerged for three seats on the Board of Supervisors.
Although six seats are up for grabs, it appears the big-money fights will be in three districts: the Richmond; the Fillmore, Haight and Western Addition neighborhoods; and the more conservative neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks.
All declared candidates were required to file campaign fundraising reports Tuesday declaring how much they raised in donations of up to $500 per person between January and June.
In District 5, London Breed, executive director of the African American Art & Culture Complex, was the top fundraiser with $85,461, surpassing incumbent Christina Olague by about $4,000. Breed even received a contribution from Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway, a prominent backer of Ed Lee. The mayor appointed Olague to the seat after Ross Mirkarimi vacated it in January to become sheriff.
But Olague doesn’t sound worried. She said her campaign fundraising surpassed its own goal of at least $75,000 and now that the board is on a summer recess she can focus more on fundraising. About half of the money she raised came from a Chinatown fundraiser thrown by Rose Pak, the influential consultant to the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Lee and former Mayor Willie Brown also attended that event.
Olague makes no apologies about that. She said “anyone you could name” in San Francisco politics has taken money from the same special interests and that “it’s like the pot calling the kettle black” for people to criticize that fundraiser.
Over in the Richmond, another challenger showed stronger fundraising ability than an incumbent. David Lee, owner of a State Farm Insurance office, surpassed incumbent District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar, having raised $105,937 compared to Mar’s $63,602.
“People want change and people want new leadership,” Lee said in explaining why he could raise six figures.
With $130,144 in his war chest, labor union-backed F.X. Crowley fared the best in District 7, the only race without an incumbent. Current officeholder Sean Elsbernd is termed out of office. The next biggest fundraiser was Elsbernd-backed Mike Garcia. The former Board of Appeals chairman raised $80,288.
District 11 Supervisor John Avalos was facing Leon Chow, a regional political organizer for SEIU-UHW. But Chow dropped out of the race following last month’s report in the San Francisco Appeal that called into question Chow’s residency and also seemed to show Chow was illegally registered to vote in San Francisco elections by using his former nonprofit’s address between 2004 to 2008. Chow reported that he raised about $5,000 before
shutting down his campaign.
Both District 9 Supervisor David Campos, who represents the Mission, and board President David Chiu, who represents North Beach and Chinatown, are not yet facing any significant challengers. The filing deadline is Aug. 10. However, Chiu raised the most of any candidate in all six races with $146,987.
The campaigns are expected to go full speed beginning after Labor Day.
Candidates for the Board of Supervisors just released their campaign finances for the period from January through June of 2012.
* Denotes incumbent
Source: Campaign statements filed with Ethics Commission