Incumbent state senator boasts largest war chest

With less than two weeks before voters go to the polls, the state Senate candidates fighting to represent residents from northeastern San Francisco to Sonoma County still have money to burn.

Since last year, incumbent Carole Migden, who is seeking her second term in office, has raised nearly $1.2 million, according to campaign-finance statements released Thursday. Since a judge ruled in April that she could transfer $640,000 from an old campaign account, she still has $737,525 in her war chest.

Challenger MarkLeno, a San Francisco Assembly member being termed out of his current office, has also come close to raising $1.2 million since 2007, which includes $100,000 he loaned to his own campaign in recent weeks. Leno has the least left in his campaign fund, with $159,514.

Former Assemblymember Joe Nation of Marin County, who is also battling to unseat Migden, didn’t officially join the race until February of this year. He has raised a total of $506,159 — less than half the amount raised by the other two candidates — and has $194,858 remaining.

Polls in recent months have given the lead to either Leno or Nation. Migden’s campaign has suffered from a serious of highly publicized scandals, including a car crash last summer that she said was caused by a medical emergency and a record penalty this year for violations of state campaign finance laws.

Migden raised $192,648 in the campaign-finance filing period between March 18 and May 17. Contributions included $1,000 from Luxor Cabs, $4,400 from labor union Service Employee International Union Local 1000, $7,400 from labor union Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, and $3,600 each from two casino operators — the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians and the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

Leno received $272,506 in political contributions since March 18. One the largest contributions during in the filing period was $7,200 made by David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. Another $7,200 was contributed by the California Teachers Association/Association for Better Citizenship.

Leno also received $3,600 from the Hawaiian Gardens Casino and a $125 donation from Peter Ackworth, CEO of Kink.com.

From March to May, Nation raised $264,665, including $7,200 from the California Real Estate political committee, $1,000 from Pacific Gas & Electric, $3,600 from Coca-Cola Enterprises, $3,200 from the San Francisco Apartment Association’s political committee and another $500 from the association’s executive director.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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