David Chiu takes early fundraising lead against David Campos in Assembly race

The big money so far is behind David Chiu.

The Board of Supervisors president emerged as an early front-runner in the cash race as he and Supervisor David Campos vie for the state Assembly, campaign finance forms filed last week show.

Chiu’s nearly 3-to-1 advantage is partially backed by large donations from developers, while Campos’ big backers primarily are labor groups and Democratic Party activists.

Chiu, whose fundraising clout was also on display during an otherwise disappointing 2011 bid for mayor, raised $454,578.93 from 675 donors compared with $216,124.99 via 240 checks for Campos.

As both left-leaning candidates, who agree on many subjects, try to succeed termed-out Assemblyman Tom Ammiano in the state Assembly, there is a conversation in San Francisco that centers on tenants’ rights and the future of development. Campos supporters point out that the traditional “downtown coalition” of real estate developers, the Chamber of Commerce and builders’ unions has ponied up big-time for Chiu, with more than $233,000 coming from financiers, property developers, and current and former chamber members and officials.

The companies behind several large-scale forthcoming condominium buildings, including the Alamo Drafthouse in the Mission and Shorenstein Realty Services — which owns the building on Market Street in which Twitter is headquartered — gave Chiu the maximum amount allowable.

But Campos isn’t untouched by developer money: Oyster Development, the company behind a large development at Van Ness and Clay streets, gave him the maximum $4,100.

Several San Francisco power players are backing both candidates: both Davids received maximum $4,100 contributions from Clint and Janet Reilly. Architecture firm Build LLC, below-market-rate housing developer Seven Hills LLC and real estate marketing firm Polaris Pacific also gave matching checks.

Chiu has made his reputation as a centrist who brings together both sides of the aisle. This is reflected in his contributions: Chiu accepted about $2,000 from some of The City’s medical marijuana dispensaries, and he also took cash from San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo, who is backing an effort to ban cannabis clubs in that city.

And, like any possibly Sacramento-bound politician, both candidates received money from American Indian tribes, whose legal gambling operations wield significant clout in the Capitol. Two Southern California tribes gave $4,100 and $1,000 to Chiu and Campos, respectively. On a more local level of power players, Chinatown Chamber of Commerce boss Rose Pak wrote one check for $1,000 — for Campos.

Both candidates are hanging onto their cash for now, with $400,732 sitting in Chiu’s war chest. Campos has $161,046 on hand, according to the campaign filings, which are for fundraising through the end of 2013.

Where the money is from:


$123,000 from 30 donors giving the maximum $4,100

$192,000 from 119 donors contributing at least $1,000 but under the maximum


$94,200 from 23 donors giving the maximum $4,100

$79,600 from 58 donors contributing at least $1,000 but under the maximum

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