Campaign Contributions from Oakland Hills Dominate Mayoral, Council Races

Oakland District 4 council candidate Jill
Broadhurst raised over $64,000 this year.

OAKLAND | CITY COUNCIL RACES | The real money in Oakland politics exists in District 4. While the current council member from the Oakland Hills district, Libby Schaaf, is running for mayor leads the pack in fundraising, the main candidates to replace her are also the top two fundraisers in all three council races during the first half of this year.

Jill Broadhurst, who ran for the seat in 2010, raised $64,301 during the first six months of this year, according to finance reports filed last week. Oakland school board member Anne Campbell Washington, who was appointed to the seat in 2013, was not far behind with $62,987. Paul Lim, the third candidate in the race, did not file a finance report.

The money race in District 4 only heightens the level of competition in a race that may not feature the level of comity ranked choice voting is often touted to deliver. During a candidate’s forum July 31, Broadhurst and Washington exhibited a bit of coolness to each other. At one point, one of them gave a hint of an eye roll while the other was speaking.

In District 2, although the amount of campaign contributions is not individually at the level of District 4, yet four of the five candidates showed strong numbers. The seat is held by Council President Pat Kernighan, who announced last winter she would not seek re-election.

Peralta Community College board member Abel Guillen led the field with $51,630 raised this year. Guillen’s fundraising prowess is not surprising due to his strong ties to labor. He is also well-known after a strong campaign in 2012 for the State Assembly. Former KPIX news anchor Dana King also showed good numbers, especially for a newcomer to politics. She reported $43,266 in contributions, according to finance records. Andrew Park raised $36,997 during the first half of 2014 to edge out Kevin Blackburn, who reported $36,257 in contributions. Sokham Mao, a member of the Citizens Police Review Board raised $3,469.

The race in District 6 features Oakland’s only council campaign this year that includes an incumbent. Councilmember Desley Brooks raised just $9,959 during the six months of this year, according to finance reports, but leads in cash in hand. Brooks reported a campaign war chest of $29,616, through June 30.

However, in another case, of District 4 money potentially making a difference in this year’s election, Schaaf’s council aide, Shereda Nosakhare, raised more money this year than her three opponents combined. Nosakhare reported $20,226 in contributions this year. Michael Johnson raised $8,782 this year, but like Brooks,he  reported a larger pool of cash with $15,442 cash in hand.

The figure could put pressure on the incumbent Brooks, who most believe will win re-election, to raise more money. Johnson’s strong performance at a candidates forum last week also raised some eyebrows. Not only was Johnson’s arguments well-honed, but it appeared the normally confident Brooks was caught on her heels by the onslaught. A fourth candidate, James Moore, did not file a finance report

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