ELECTION ’12//HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD | Campaign filings for the last reporting period ending Sept. 30 revealed Hayward school board candidate, Peter Bufete, received his largest donation from Jesus Armas’s re-election committee after Bufete admitted in August that Armas recommended him to run for the school board.
The donation tops off at $2,600 from “Armas for School Board 2012” committee that came of no use to Armas after he decided not to run for re-election when The Citizen reported in July that he was having an undisclosed affair with school board member, Maribel Heredia, that since then has raised questions of a possible collusion of votes and a conflict-of-interest.
According to Armas’s last campaign finance filing on July, 27, two days after the scandal broke, his committee’s cash balance stood at $3,287 thus showing the majority of his re-election funds were given to Bufete.
Bufete admitted in August that he was friends with Armas’s son when they attended middle school together and that he had suggested to Bufete to run for the school board. Bufete says that despite his connection to Armas he will be an independent thinking candidate for the school board. He also received the Hayward Chamber of Commerce endorsement in August that was given to him from the chamber’s government relations council that Armas is a member.
Bufete ran for Hayward City Council earlier this year but only managed to capture 5 percent of the vote, but ran on a platform then, as he does now, that he relates well with high school students because of his age and his recent graduation from college. Bufete is 22-year old, but has impressed many politicians in Hayward because of his confidence, well coiffed image and public speaking experience. City council members Barbara Halliday and Francisco Zermeño have spoken highly of the young candidate and each also gave $100 to his campaign for school board.
The second highest donation, although small in comparison to Armas’s, comes from Bufete himself and the Service Employee International Union Local 1021’s PAC at $500. Other contributors include Dianne McDermott from Hayward’s planning commission, former city councilmember Kevin Dowling and Dr. Hal Gin who moderated the first school board candidate forum hosted by Asian Pacific Islander American Affairs Association (APAPA).
Also, according to a Schedule B filing, a $2,578 loan was taken out by Williams Family Care, which Bufete is an administrator at, for his campaign. Bufete raised a total of $8,922 but expended $5,375 thus far ending with a cash balance of $3,546.