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Which CA and Bay Area Candidates Are Outraising Their Opponents, and Which Are Trailing Behind?

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A split screen photo illustration showing four politicians in a row.
Candidates for elected office in California and across the Bay Area publicly filed their campaign finance records at the end of September. Pictured: Gov. Gavin Newsom, Republican political analyst and state controller candidate Lanhee Chen, San Jose mayor candidate Cindy Chavez, and San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins. (Photo Illustration by KQED)

The end of September marks a major milestone in campaigns across California, as legal deadlines require candidates’ campaigns to reveal how much money they’ve raised over the past few months, tallying that alongside expenses.

Below is a roundup of some key races both large and small — from Gov. Gavin Newsom defending his job against his Republican challenger, to Board of Supervisors races in the city of San Francisco.

While we’re focusing on campaign finance in the coverage below, we’ve also got extensive reporting of candidates’ positions on top issues in our KQED Election 2022 California Voter Guide. Be sure to read it if you want to know what each candidate intends to do in office.


The governor’s race might top the ballot in November but the latest fundraising totals show why the contest between Gov. Gavin Newsom and State Senator Brian Dahle isn’t attracting much attention.

You’d expect a Democratic governor to outraise a Republican counterpart, but the numbers show how the state and national Republican parties are ignoring this race.

Newsom reports raising $2.1 million in the third quarter of 2022, bringing his total for the year to nearly $9 million. He has a whopping $23.2 million cash on hand.

By comparison, Dahle reports raising $590,579 in the last three months for a total of just over $2 million for the year. He has just $408,741 to spend between now and the November election.

In other words, Newsom has almost 57 times more cash than Dahle.

These financial reports do not include independent expenditures made for or against these candidates.

State Controller

In the race to succeed termed-out State Controller Betty Yee, it’s the Republican candidate who has the huge cash advantage.

Lanhee Chen, a Stanford scholar and GOP political advisor who worked on the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, reports raising $4.15 million overall, including $1.14 million in the third quarter. He has just over $3 million cash on hand.

By comparison, Democrat Malia Cohen has raised $1.2 million in all of 2022, including $559,943 in the third quarter, with a relatively small $529,468 cash on hand.

Chen will need every penny of that cash and more to overcome the structural deficit his party faces among registered voters in California. As of May, the breakdown is roughly 47% registered Democratic, 24% Republican and 23% no party preference voters.

These financial reports do not include independent expenditures made for or against these candidates.

Bay Area Mayor Races

Filings also show spending ramping up in the region’s two high-profile mayor races, in San Jose and Oakland.

The two contenders for the top job in San Jose, City Council member Matt Mahan and Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, both enter the final stretch of the campaign with ample war chests. Mahan reported raising $672,914 over the summer, while Chavez brought in close to $557,679. With just over a week until voting begins, Chavez is sitting on over $458,282 while Mahan reported nearly $444,552 on hand.

During the primary, voters saw a deluge of spending from outside groups: Labor unions spent heavily in support of Chavez while current Mayor Sam Liccardo recruited business and developer dollars into his super PAC supporting Mahan. The outside spending cooled off over the summer, but filings this week show that could change. On Tuesday, the San Francisco 49ers dropped a whopping $420,000 into their committee backing Chavez.

In Oakland, filings show City Council members Loren Taylor and Sheng Thao emerging as the leading fundraisers in the 10-candidate field. So far this year, Taylor has raised $266,141 and spent $168,143, ending the filing period with $276,602 on hand. Thao has raised $242,700, spent $209,841 and reported $161,693 on hand.

So far, Thao has been the beneficiary of outside spending by a group called “Working Families for a Better Oakland,” which is bankrolled by some of the region’s leading labor unions. The committee reported spending $190,271 to support Thao’s run.

San Francisco District Attorney Race

District Attorney Brooke Jenkins has outraised her opponents in the election for San Francisco district attorney, the newest numbers show — though, with a caveat.

Jenkins, the tough-on-crime district attorney appointed by Mayor London Breed to replace progressive DA Chesa Boudin after he was recalled, raised $126,000 through the end of September. Her challenger from the left, former police commissioner John Hamasaki, raised $87,000, and another former police commissioner, and former fire commissioner, Joe Alioto Veronese, raised $56,000.

While that may make it seem like Alioto Veronese is trailing behind in fundraising, this is where things get a little muddy.

In a tweet, Friday, Alioto Veronese claimed he raised more money than Jenkins and Hamasaki.

“Early results of our campaign fundraiser are in and they’re good. We’ve outraised incumbent DA @BrookeUnionCity two-to-one and public defender @HamasakiLaw three-to-one. The momentum is strong in this one!” he wrote, on Twitter.

That’s only half-true.

If you count the money he’s been raising since the start of the year — well before his opponents declared their intention to run in the race — then yes, he did outraise them financially. Veronese started his 2023 campaign committee in January this year. Jenkins started her campaign committee mid-July, and Hamasaki started in mid-August.

But recent contributions are arguably the best indicator of momentum. Measured in that way, Jenkins is handily leading the pack, with Hamasaki close behind, and Alioto Veronese in the dust.

Similar to Alioto Veronese, on Twitter, Hamasaki touted raising more than Jenkins in the period in which he raised money, since he filed to run later than Jenkins — not counting the total money she raised the month before. Maggie Muir, a campaign consultant for Jenkins, said Alioto Veronese and Hamasaki's campaigns played fast and loose with the numbers.

“Hamasaki doesn’t seem to understand simple math. Joe Alioto Veronese is potentially illegally double dipping, counting the same donors twice. These two need to go back to school,” she said.

Speaking to KQED, Alioto Veronese countered that much of the funding from his older campaign accounts, though not all of it, can be transferred to the new one.

Last note: Some independent groups have raised their own money to support candidates. Most notably, the Alice B. Toklas LGBTQ Democratic Club has a cash balance of $41,492 to spend on candidates. They solely endorsed Jenkins for district attorney — expect to see her on their mailers advertising candidates to vote for. They’ve already spent roughly $5,000 on a billboard for her.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors District 6 and District 4

In the race to represent San Francisco’s District 6, including downtown, South of Market, Mission Bay, and Treasure Island neighborhoods, among others, candidate Honey Mahogany is leading, though not overwhelmingly.

Mahogany, a former aide to former supervisor and current Assembly member Matt Haney, has raised $389,000 so far. That sees Mahogany outraising the recently appointed District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who counts $348,000 in the bank. Roughly half of each of their contributions are through public financing provided by the city.

Accounting for how much they’ve spent already promoting their campaigns, Mahogany has a fairly sizable chunk of cash left in the bank relative to her opponent, with $233,000 compared to Dorsey’s $177,000.

And in the election to represent the Sunset, Parkside, and other west side neighborhoods of San Francisco’s District 4, challenger Joel Engardio has raised $376,000 compared to incumbent Supervisor Gordon Mar, who has raised $308,000. More than half of those funds for each candidate came from public financing provided by the city.

As far as fundraising from voters — an often-times helpful indicator on voter support — Engardio raised $120,000 this year through September, and Mar raised $92,000. Engardio is hoping to generate momentum based on his support for the recall in the district, which records show voted overwhelmingly to remove Boudin.

Lastly, though she was stricken from the ballot by a judge in early September for not living in the district she intended to represent in the required time period, former candidate Leanne Louie had previously raised $41,000, records show.

Alameda County District Attorney

Terry Wiley and Pamela Price are competing for the seat previously held by Nancy O’Malley, who was Alameda County’s district attorney for 13 years.

Candidates Pamela Price and Terry Wiley both raised nearly half of their total fundraising this year in the last three months.

Terry Wiley is clearly out-fundraising Pamela Price, having raised just over $581,612 since the year began, more than $200,000 more than what Price raised in that same time period, roughly $314,580.

Moving into the final month before the election, Wiley has $173,560 on hand. Price has less to work with, counting $86,357 in hand and $92,875 in outstanding debt.



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