Fundraising Totals Indicate Mayoral Race Not Attracting Passion

By Steven Tavares

Maybe it is the sign of the times or a function of a rapidly growing field of candidates facing an incumbent for mayor of San Leandro, but money is barely trickling into the coffers of those vying for the city’s top spot.  According to financial disclosures filed this week four of the five candidates who filed statements have together amassed just over $40,000 in campaign contributions for the entire year.

Mayor Tony Santos again led all challengers in campaign dollars with $23,943.46 reported and $4,081.39 in unpaid debt. Labor unions formed the largest bloc of campaign contributors for the incumbent mayor with over $5,850 in fundraising. Santos has long been popular with labor unions, in addition to support from the police and fire department.

In somewhat of a surprise, former San Leandro school trustee Stephen Cassidy surged ahead of Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak in campaign dollars received and reports $20,346 in cash through June. The figure includes $8,830 in loans from Cassidy to his campaign. The report also details a non-monetary contribution from current School Board President Mike Katz of $2,000 in fair market value for voter data analysis.

The campaign of Starosciak continues to remain stagnant. The biggest surprise of the financial disclosure filings may be the relatively paltry $6,314 reported by her campaign. The councilmember who represents the Washington Manor section of San Leandro brought in $9,333 in campaign contributions through June. According to her filing, it includes $500 from Southern California Assemblyman Anthony Portantino. The campaigns largest outlay is $10,200 to campaign consultant Larry Tramutola, who also represents Alameda County supervisor candidate Nadia Lockyer.

Local rapper and political activist Sara Mestas reported an ending balance through June of $263 with debts nearly equaling the total. Her disclosure is heavy in non-monetary contributions with $4,338 in various goods and services. Over $1,000 came from the Las Vegas-based Kent Entertainment, which represents her recording career. Lou Filipovich, who lost in his bid for Alameda County supervisor last June, did not file a financial disclosure form.

Categories: campaign finance, Joyce Starosciak, mayor, Mike Katz, san leandro, Sara Mestas, Tony Santos

5 replies

  1. Joyce's figures aren't too surprising because she's funded mostly by outside developer interests. They want to pay for a viable candidate and when it looks like she doesn't have a chance, there's no return on their investment, and the contributions die down. Locally, I don't think there are many who would give her $$$.

    The fact that Cassidy was able to fundraise from a variety of people, not one particular political institution speaks volumes. If he and Santos are the most viable candidates, then I hope the choice between bumbling old corrupt fool; and young lawyer with a track record of accomplishments is an easy one.

    Frank Lynn


  2. Frank, if the best choice that San Leandro has is between a corrupt bumbling old fool and a young lawyer, Lou Filipovich could be a better choice.


  3. When compared to Bacalao Sand-toes, Luis Filipovich and Sara Mestas are the only viable candidates. Joyce is like a local version of Katie Couric; all bubbly and no substance.


  4. Sara Mestas looks like she broke, but have spent the least of her money more wisely than Sara? Her money is low yet when she walks door to door, many one know Sara from many articles and tv sports. Some people have idea who the accual mayor is anyway


  5. People that don't know who our Mayor is obviously doesn't have any interest in Local Politics! As far as Cassidy goes, I had a chance to talk with him when he was on the school board and I wasn't impressed at all, he actually quit in the middle of his term if I recall correctly. What person in their right mind would vote for him?


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