Rival candidates in the hotly contested district 5 race both came out in force during the Solano Stroll last month. Left: Sophie Hahn and her supporters. Photo: Hahn for City Council. Right: Laurie Capitelli and supporters. Photo: Alan Tobey

It may pale beside President Obama’s $181 million raised in September alone, but local candidates in Berkeley are easily on course for more than a quarter million in fundraising before the November 6 election. Donations in Berkeley are capped at $250 per individual, a limit that has stood since the 1970s.

The figures on Berkeley’s local races come from filings submitted to the city clerk showing fundraising and expenditures for the third quarter of 2012 (all candidate and measure filings can be accessed online). Unsurprisingly, the mayoral contest has the largest fundraising, but it is closely trailed by the vigorous race in district 5, where incumbent Laurie Capitelli is being challenged for the second time by Sophie Hahn.

Hahn and Capitelli have raised a combined $62,858 (less than $1,000 separates their totals), compared to $72,311 raised by Mayor Tom Bates and challenger Jacquelyn McCormick. Council Member Kriss Worthington, who is also running for mayor, did not meet the quarterly filing deadline so his totals are not yet available. 

The table above shows the races with the most fundraising activity. In the contest for two seats on the school board, two of the challengers — Judy Appel and Tracy Hollander — have dramatically outraised incumbent Beatriz Leyva-Cutler. Leyva-Cutler also has only $126 cash on hand at the end of the quarter, compared to over $10,000 for Hollander and over $9,000 for Appel. Both non-incumbents, however, face the challenge of building name recognition in a citywide contest.

Incumbent Max Anderson in district 3 outraised challenger Dmitri Belser $7,573 to $4,360 in the quarter, and tops Belser $11,683 to $4,360 on the year. In other district races, incumbent Darryl Moore has significantly outraised his challengers in district 2: Moore’s $8,929 in the quarter takes his year total to $12,469, while challengers Adolfo Cabral and Denisha DeLane together have less than $3,500 $4,400 on the year. Susan Wengraf in district 6 has raised $7,691 in the quarter and $7,941 for the year. She faces write-in candidate Phoebe Sorgen who has raised no declared funds yet.

Measures attract property developer support

Significant funds have been raised on two of the ten city measures on the ballot. Supporters of Measure S, the proposed sidewalk sitting ordinance, raised $55,400 in the quarter, overwhelmingly from property developers and property management companies (funding breakdowns, as well as comprehensive details on all the measures can be found on the Voter’s Edge Berkeley site, which Berkeleyside compiled in partnership with MapLight).

Panoramic Interests and First Shattuck Holdings contributed $10,000 each to the Coalition for Berkeley Civil Sidewalks, and four other property companies contributed $5,000 each. Panoramic, run by Patrick Kennedy, sold its numerous residential holdings to Equity Residential in 2007, and now concentrates on what it describes as transit-friendly, sustainable housing development. First Shattuck is connected to Beacon Group Ventures, which owns 2150 Shattuck, the 13-story former PowerBar building.

Opponents of Measure S have raised $8,100, the bulk from Patricia Wall, executive director of the Homeless Action Center.

Supporters of Measure T, which would change the zoning in West Berkeley, have raised $15,400, of which $10,000 came from Herst Ventures, the real estate development company that Doug Herst formed following the sale of his Peerless Lighting in 1999. A further $4,100 came from deTienne Associates, Darrell de Tienne’s design company. Opponents of Measure T have raised $4,900.

Five Berkeley mayoral candidates face off at neighborhood forum [10.02.12]
Allegations fly in district five race [09.28.12]
School board forum displays strong anti-Broad views [09.28.12]
Berkeleyside launches one-stop, non-partisan voting guide [09.24.12]
Berkeley election activity begins in earnest [09.04.12]
Berkeleyside’s approach to local politics [08.22.12]

Visit Voter’s Edge Berkeley, Berkeleyside’s non-partisan voting guide to the ten measures on the Berkeley ballot. Visit Berkeleyside’s Election 2012 section to see all our coverage in the run-up to November 6.

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Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...