Sandre Swanson and Rep. Barbara Lee
PHOTO/Swanson campaign

STATE SENATE | 9TH DISTRICT | In the likely contentious primary next June for the East Bay’s Ninth State Senate District next year, Democratic loyalties will be split and feelings will be hurt, but Rep. Barbara Lee is not standing above the fray. On Monday, Lee endorsed Sandre Swanson’s campaign for the open state senate seat.

Democrats across the East Bay might not be as certain, though, with two more strong progressives also in the race, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan and former Assemblymember Nancy Skinner. San Pablo Vice Mayor Rich Kinney, a Republican, is the fourth candidate expected to run for the seat.

Local elected Democratic officials, though, have flocked early to Swanson’s campaign. In addition to Lee, East Bay Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmond officially backed Swanson, as did, current State Sen. Loni Hancock.

In a statement, Swanson’s campaign noted sitting congress members rarely weigh-in on competitive Democratic primaries, which is typically the norm.

But despite the raft of high-profile endorsements, they have not yet transferred into fundraising strength for Swanson. During the first half of 2015, Swanson raised $96,800, which trailed both Chan and Skinner.

Overall cash on hand, meanwhile, tells an even more daunting story for Swanson after both his main challengers transferred large amounts of cash from previous campaign accounts. When it comes to money in the bank, Swanson’s $80,387 is vastly overshadowed by Skinner’s $925,176.