Three of the four candidates in the open-seat State Assembly District 20 race have raised a combined $1 million, heavily fueled by labor unions as well as tech, oil, real estate and tobacco interests, campaign finance disclosure records show. Huh.
The recipients of that generosity, all Democrats, are registered nurse and former Labor organizer Jennifer Estein, 41; Dublin Council member Sean Kumagai, 45; and labor union treasurer Liz Ortega, 44. Retired computer scientist Joseph Gracar, 71, the lone Republican nominee, says he hasn’t solicited any donations, or filed campaign finance documents.
The top two vote-getters in the June 7 primaries will go on to the general election in November.
The newly reconstituted State Assembly District 20 represents the approximately 500,000 residents of San Leandro, Hayward and Union City, as well as the disorganized Alameda County communities of San Lorenzo, Ashland, Cherryland and Castro Valley, as well as parts of Dublin and Pleasanton. Is.
As of May 20, Ortega’s campaign had raised approximately $350,000, primarily from unions for nurses, teachers, and building trade workers, as well as The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, parent of the Alameda Labor Council, who acts as Ortega. Secretary-Treasurer.
The various branches of the union she worked for—the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees at the University of California—donated $24,000 directly to her campaign.
The local 3299 branch of that association also created an independent spending committee to support Ortega’s campaign with a pledge of $500,000. The committee spent all that until May 2 on television and Internet commercials supporting Ortega.
A spending committee called East Bay Together, sponsored by the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 union, has spent about $88,000 on mailers and polling supporting Ortega.
Independent spending committees are not limited by spending limits, but they cannot directly involve themselves in the campaigns of their preferred candidates.
“They’re supporting me because I have a track record of delivering to the workers I represent, and they see themselves in me,” Ortega said.
According to state records, Estein, a nurse in the psychiatric ward of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, has raised about $410,000, mostly from personal donations.
His biggest supporters are the various branches of the Service Employees International Union, including SEIU Local 1021, which has donated more than $50,000 in total.
Estein is the immediate former Vice President of Organizing SEIU Local 1021, which represents approximately 60,000 government and nonprofit workers in Northern California, including health workers, librarians, and clerks.
He said he was proud of the support of the Sangh.
“This country was founded by people who were land owners, men doing business. They have benefited for hundreds of years,” Estein said.
“It is time to level the playing field and give the regular people of our great state at least an opportunity to be equal.”
He is also supported by an independent spending committee, the Center for Empowered Politics, which has spent nearly $6,500 on a voter guide called Oakland Rising that supports his campaign. The committee includes the Chinese Progressive Association and the San Francisco Rising Group.
Estein and Ortega both pledged early in the race not to accept corporate donations.
Dublin Councilmember Kumagai, a naval reservist who is District Director of Assembly Member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, has received nearly $308,000 from numerous sources.
Among them are developers, real estate agents, landlords, construction workers union and the California YIMBY Victory Fund, a pro-housing political action committee heavily supported by tech executives.
Other supporters are car dealer associations, including companies controlled by Inder Dosanjh, who has four owners in Dublin and eight elsewhere.
Kumagai said he was proud of the “broad spectrum” of support he received.
“I think this is a testament to the fact that as an elected official, I have worked with all stakeholders in policy making,” he said.
Kumagai pledged not to take money from fossil fuel companies, the tobacco industry or police associations, but finance records show his campaign is profiting from those groups.
A group called Future Pac donated $4,900 directly to Kumagai’s campaign. It has raised money from police unions, pharmaceutical groups, and another committee called California for Jobs and a Stronger Economy, which takes donations from oil companies, PG&E and police unions.
When asked about his pledge to accept donations from a group funded by police unions and fossil fuel interests, Kumagai said he was okay with it because Future PAC’s money in his campaign treasury came from him, There’s no way to know.
Future PAC has spent approximately $100,000 through its Independent Spending Committee on Mailers, Polling and Research.
Another committee called Keep California Golden, which has received donations from Uber, the California Association of Realtors and cigarette maker Philip Morris, has spent nearly $172,000 on mailers, consulting and research to support Kumagai.
In addition, a committee called Keep California’s Working, a Coalition of Insurance Agents, Technology, Energy and Health Care Providers, has spent approximately $86,000 to support Kumagai. The committee is supported by $250,000 from Uber and $125,000 from the Federation of Personal Insurance Agents of California.
A committee called Fighting for Our Future has meanwhile spent about $30,000 on Kumagai’s mailers. The group has raised $650,000 from the California Association of Realtors, $125,000 from the California Apartment Association, $100,000 from the Building Industry Association, and smaller donations from new car dealers and farmers.
Gracar, the race’s lone Republican nominee, raised the issue of all the big money in the race.
“Basically, the seat is for sale to the highest bidder,” he said. Grakar is funding his own campaign and says he has not asked for any donations.