Money is pouring into campaigns as San Francisco gears up for a very busy year of elections.
With the School Board recall and state Assembly special election just six weeks away on Feb. 15, campaigns are ramping up their fundraising efforts. But the most expensive campaign is shaping up to be the June 7 recall election of District Attorney Chesa Boudin, which has already attracted nearly $3 million from supporters and opponents.
When it comes to fundraising, Supervisor Matt Haney leads the pack in the special election for Assembly District 17, which encompasses the eastern half of San Francisco. His campaign announced Monday that it had raised over $675,000 in the race to replace David Chiu, who left the Assembly to become San Francisco’s City Attorney. Organized labor groups, especially construction trades, represent Haney’s biggest contributors, according to data from the California Secretary of State. More than a dozen labor groups gave $9,700 apiece, the voluntary campaign spending limit for organizations. (State-level campaigns can choose whether to agree to caps on campaign contributions.)
Tech entrepreneur and political newcomer Bilal Mahmood has raised more than $455,000, his campaign manager Jesse Brooks said. That includes $100,000 contributed by Mahmood himself, which was made possible by the fact the candidate did not agree to voluntary campaign finance limits.
Former Supervisor David Campos has raised over $350,000, according to campaign manager Daniel Anderson . Campos’ top contributors are individuals, though teachers and health care unions have made contributions, Secretary of State data shows. Campos also received $4,900 — the voluntary maximum for individual contributions — from the campaigns of several elected officials, including state Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Assembly members Jose Medina, James Ramos and Luz Rivas.
City College Board Trustee Thea Selby says she has raised more than $100,000. Nearly all of her top donors are individuals. (For now, self-reported totals represent the most accurate source of information on fundraising in the Assembly race. Complete state filings, confirming exactly how much each candidate has raised, will be available on Jan. 31. )
The recall election of School Board members Alison Collins, Gabriela López, and Faauuga Moliga has more lopsided fundraising numbers. The campaign to oppose the recall has raised just $5,000 as of Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Ethics Commission. Another committee specifically opposing the recall of Moliga has raised $10,000.
On the other side of the race, the two committees supporting the recall have raised more than $1.1 million. Tech investor Arthur Rock is the leading donor to the Yes on the School Board Recall campaign, contributing nearly $400,000. Venture capitalist David Sacks is the second-biggest donor, contributing nearly $75,000.
While it’s still six months away, the recall election of Boudin has already brought in millions. Committees supporting the recall have the clear advantage, raising close to $2.1 million so far. Nearly $1.4 million of that money comes from Neighbors for a Better San Francisco, a PAC funded in part by six-figure contributions from philanthropist Mimi Haas, banker Paul Holden Spaht Jr., and venture capitalists William Duhamel and Jason Moment.
Two committees opposed to the Boudin recall have raised a total of $729,000. Crypto entrepreneur Chris Larsen is the leading donor, spending $100,000 to keep Boudin in office.