ELECTION’12//CAMPAIGN FINANCE | State Assembly voters in nearly the entire East Bay will go to the ballot box next month without a single Republican to choose from. The existence of two open primary races featuring two Democrats, though, has not stopped campaign finance dollars from flowing to each race. For races in the 18th and 20th Assembly Districts, pre-election campaign finance reports issued last Friday, indicate both contests will likely surpass $1 million by the time voters cast their ballots on Nov. 6.

Alameda Vice Mayor Rob Bonta has led the money race at every campaign checkpoint and he continues to do so. Bonta’s reported $180,781 of cash in hand through Sept. 30. Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen follows with $108,981 in cash, according to the campaign finance reports.

The distance between Bonta and Guillen’s fundraising prowess has been roughly consisitent since even before the June primary. Bonta raised $181,987 during the summer fundraising period, while Guillen followed closely with $138,703. Together, both have spent over $820,000 through the first nine months of the year, according to the reports. Below are campaign finance figures from July 1-Sept. 30:


Conventional wisdom may dictate the race in the 18th District, centered around Oakland, Alameda and San Leandro, would be the race featuring big money and financially costly campaigns, but it has not been so, at least this election season.

Former Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk raised his year-to-date total campaign fundraising to $529,752 through Sept.30. The figure easily dwarfs Bonta’s $419,981 and far outdistances his opponent, Dr. Jennifer Ong, who, in comparison, has posted just over $277,000 this year.

Quirk’s large haul is likely a function of greater support among the local Democratic Party for his campaign against Ong, a fellow Democrat, as opposed, to the more fractured party support for Bonta and Guillen. Large personal loans from the candidates also inflated fundraising totals. Last September, Quirk added another $10,000 to his bill, now at $106,000, while Ong has amassed $68,100 in debts through four separate loans to her campaign.

However, the amount of money spent in this year with Quirk leading Ong, $466,734 to $277,730, is in reality much more equal than campaign reports illustrate. As you may recall in the primary, Ong was the beneficiary of just under $200,000 in independent expenditures from three groups with ties to the medical profession.

Nevertheless, Quirk still leads Ong with over $110,000 of cash in hand through Sept. 30. Ong registered $81,846. However, Quirk greatly outspent Ong during the summer by a 4-to-1 clip. Quirk’s expenditures of $121,120 easily topped Ong’s $30,474.

ONG………....$ 96,888..$ 30,747..$ 81,846…$289,118..$277,730