Despite the COVID-19 pandemic hindering traditional in-person campaigning, Pleasanton candidates seeking office for several local elections in next month's general election mostly fared well in their fundraising efforts, according to campaign finance disclosure forms most recently filed with the city clerk's office.
In what is primarily a three-candidate campaign, the Pleasanton mayoral race among current council members Jerry Pentin and Karla Brown and newcomer Monith Ilavarasan saw significant donation margins between the two incumbents and Ilavarasan during the most recently reported period from July 1 to Sept. 19.
Mayor Jerry Thorne, who terms out this year, gave $1,000 to Pentin's campaign earlier this year, but Pentin pulled in the majority of contributions -- $23,586 -- more recently. In total, Pentin has raised $38,287 in year to date donations. More than $4,200 came from "Kathy Narum for Mayor 2020," which was accumulated for Narum's campaign. (When Narum pulled out of the race, Pentin assumed contracted expenses from her campaign.)
Karla Brown also raised a considerable amount, comparatively, in the most recent reporting period -- $19,243 -- for a year to date totaling $26,999. According to earlier Form 460 records, Karla Brown also received a $1,000 contribution in June from Carl Cox, owner of local gas stations.
Other notable donors to Karla Brown's campaign include $500 from the Glazer for Senate PAC and $100 from Planning Commissioner Nancy Allen, who is running for Pleasanton City Council this fall.
Ilavarasan, an Amador Valley High School alumni and technology product manager, trailed far behind Karla Brown and Pentin, raising just $1,050 for the entire year from a handful of residents.
Tom Turpel, who is also on the mayoral ballot, does not have any contribution information on the city website.
In the race among seven candidates in the Nov. 3 general election for two seats on the Pleasanton City Council, Planning Commissioner Jack Balch eclipsed most of the field, raising a year-to-date total of $35,275. Balch generated most of his donations earlier this year, but raised another $9,024 more recently.
Most of Balch's contributions came from a variety of professionals in the Tri-Valley in amounts largely ranging from $100 to $400, quickly adding to a considerable pool of funds. Sizable donations include $750 from the Quarry Lane School and $500 from the Jerry Thorne for Mayor Committee, both received earlier this year.
Donations for Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Randy Brown also yielded a comparatively high sum of $20,318 to date, with $15,193 raised since July 1. The California Apartment Association and California Real Estate PACs each recently gave $1,000, while the Jerry Thorne for Mayor Committee gave $500 to Randy Brown's coffers earlier this year.
Allen, who said back in May she would "set a model by not accepting donations from local developers or political action committees," raised the third highest amount of donations, with $13,760 total recently reported. Her campaign brought in $4,320 during the most recent reporting period, including $100 from Karla Brown and $50 from Pleasanton school board candidate Kelly Mokashi.
Chiman Lee raised $6,350 in local donations, while current school board trustee and council candidate Valerie Arkin raised $4,068 since joining the race this summer, including $100 each from her fellow board colleague Mark Miller as well as Karla Brown and Mokashi.
Housing Commissioner Zarina Kiziloglu did not have any Form 460s on file with the city's website, but did list mandatory disclosure documents pertaining to personal investments such as retirement accounts and real estate properties.
Attorney Jarod Buna's finance forms did not list any donors or received contributions from anyone, but did include $2,500 in expenditures -- $2,000 was used to purchase a car wrap while $500 was spent on Facebook ads.
Donations for the Pleasanton Unified School District Board of Trustees election, which has three seats open, were more modest comparatively, but first-time candidate Chong Wang raised $15,269 this year. Since July, Wang raised $1,025, according to campaign finance documents, including $200 from Allen.
Recently retired teacher Mary Jo Carreon raised about half compared to Wang -- $7,520 -- in private donations from residents, including district teachers and staff, since joining the race just two months ago.
Incumbent Jamie Yee reported $6,367 raised this year, including $500 from the Local 342 PAC Fund, while educator Mokashi, who is running for the first time, received $2,765 this year.
Board members Miller and Arkin donated $100 each to Mokashi, as did Karla Brown. Most of Mokashi's funds -- $2,245 -- were reported during the most recent period.
Board President Steve Maher did not have financial disclosure forms readily available on the city's website.
The next campaign contribution reporting information is due out after the Oct. 22 deadline. Election Day is Nov. 3.
To look up more detailed information about each candidate, click here.