Fruits, nuts, and Bacon highlight tepid early fundraising in Alameda County supervisors race

Two declared candidates for Alameda County Board of Supervisors District 1 March primary: State Sen. Bob Wieckowski and Fremont Councilmember Vinnie Bacon.

State Sen. Bob Wieckowski’s campaign for the open seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisor has been noticeably quiet since he switched from a bid for Rep. Eric Swalwell’s congressional seat on June 13. The same perceived inaction also permeates Wieckowski’s first campaign finance report.

Through June 30, Wieckowski raised just $5,500 from three special interests groups that support agriculture in the state. If not for the contributions, Wieckowski may have been forced to report no funding for his campaign, whatsoever. The donations came just three days before the mid-year June 30 reporting deadline.

Wieckowski received $1,500 from the Agricultural Council of California Political Action Committee (PAC); $2,000 from the American Pistachio Growers California PAC; and $2,000 from the California Fresh Fruit Association PAC, according to finance reports.

Wieckowski reported no spending during the period, but included $741 in unpaid bills.

The paltry early fundraising numbers are certain to increase dramatically in coming months as Wieckowski begins to draw on donations from special interests PACs and some labor unions that are already well acquianted with the state senator, who also served the Fremont area in the assembly from 2010-2014.

But Wieckowski also has more than $125,000 in cash stashed away in a state senate account and another for state secretary of state.

More campaign cash will certainly be needed. Many estimate the going rate for running a credible supervisorial race in Alameda County requires total fundraising in excess of $300,000.

Fremont Councilmember Vinnie Bacon joined the supervisorial race last February with the intention of unseating long-time District 1 reperesentaive Scott Haggerty. But Haggerty announced last month that he would not seek re-election after 23 years on the board.

Bacon’s campaign calling card is a pledge against accepting contributions from special interests and developers. He has thus far kept that promise, although, perhaps limiting his ability to raise large amounts of money from people not related to him.

Bacon reported raising a total of $70,725 between February and June 30. But the respectable early numbers belie the fact that a vast majority of the haul came from Bacon, himself, and two family members.

Bacon loaned his campaign $24,634 during the course of the year. Bob Bacon contributed $20,000 in late April. Art Kassan also added another $20,000 during the same period. The remaining funds include a number of small donations, mostly from Fremont residents.

Bacon’s campaign spent just $6,290 through June 30. He accounts for $64,326 in cash reserves.

Although Wieckowski and Bacon are the only candidates to file fundraising reports during the mid-year period, others candidates appear set to join the March 2020 primary field.

Dublin Mayor David Haubert formally filed an intent to run for the seat on July 25, according to a filing with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

Haubert is the first candidate in the supervisorial district’s Tri-Valley portion to join the race. The district is comprised of Dublin, Livermore, Sunol, and a portion of Fremont.

In addition, Haggerty’s chief of staff Shawn Wilson is also considering a run for supervisor. But, one big name that is no longer eyeing a campaign for supervisor is former Tri-Valley assemblymember Catharine Baker, it was reported last week.

 

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