Campaign cash pouring in for supervisor elections

The dough is piling up in the war chests of candidates battling for a seat on the Board of Supervisors, with 12 candidates receiving public dollars to help fund their campaigns, according to campaign finance reporting due Thursday.

Seven seats on the Board of Supervisors are up for grabs this November, with progressives seeking to regain their majority rule on the board against the moderates more aligned with Mayor Gavin Newsom and downtown businesses.

The race for District 3, which represents Chinatown and North Beach neighborhoods, has the most competitive field of candidates, political analyst David Latterman said.

Moderate District 3 candidates receiving the most political contributions are Claudine Cheng, president and chair of the Treasure Island Development Authority, and Attorney Joseph Alioto. Both have the support of Newsom. Cheng has raised $49,094 during the first six months of the year and has also reported more than $100,000 in contributions from 2007 and 2008 combined. Alioto has raised $67,560.

Progressive candidate David Chiu, who is backed by current seat holder Aaron Peskin, raised $94,409 in the first six months of the year. Chiu also reports that he has raised more than $100,000.

In District 11, top fundraisers include Supervisor Chris Daly’s legislative aide John Avalos and more moderate candidate and former Newsom staffer Ahsha Safai. Avalos has raised $65,973 in contributions; Safai $40,567. Both are accepting public financing. Those candidates who elect to use public finance dollars agree to spend no more than $140,000 and can qualify, depending how much money they raise, to receive as much as $87,500 in public money.

District 9 is seen as a battle among three progressive candidates who are each accepting public financing. Police Commissioner David Campos raised $13,696; Eric Quezada, a community activist, raised $13,285; and Board of Education President Mark Sanchez raised $9,322.

In District 1, Newsom Planning Commission appointee Sue Lee has raised $39,801. Eric Mar, a school board member, has raised $20,793, while community activist Alicia Wang has raised $22,229. Both are signed up for public financing.

District 4 supervisor Carmen Chu raised $108,516 this year and District 5 incumbent Ross Mirkarimi, who is receiving public financing, raised $59,010. District 7 incumbent Sean Elbernd’s filing was not available at press time.

Latterman said the campaigning will heat up after Labor Day and candidate-funded mailers will start showing up in mid-October.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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