Monday, August 3, 2015

Skinner, Chan post big fundraising figures padded by former campaign accounts

Former Democratic Assemblymemebers Sandre
Swanson, Wilma Chan and Nancy Skinner are all
vying for SD9 next year.
STATE SENATE | CAMPAIGN FINANCE | Nancy Skinner is sitting on a pile of cash. Just a year away from a titanic Democratic tussle in next June’s primary for the Ninth State Senate District, Skinner’s campaign reported $925,176 in cash on hand, according to finance reports released this week.

Skinner, a former member of the Assembly from Berkeley, holds nearly six times the amount of campaign cash as her nearest opponent, Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan. Also a former assembly member, Chan reported $160,659 in cash during the first half of this year.

Sandre Swanson, yet another former Democratic assembly member from the East Bay, reported $80,387 in cash banked during the period ending June 30. Over $13,000 in cash was carried over from before the start of the year.

San Pablo Vice Mayor Rich Kinney is
so far the only Republican in the race.
San Pablo Vice Mayor Rich Kinney reported $5,830 in contributions this year, but also spent nearly as much, $5,078, and has $752 cash on hand. Kinney, a Republican, finished fourth in the Fifteenth Assembly District primary last year won by Tony Thurmond.

However, Skinner’s fundraising numbers are greatly enhanced from a noticeably head start in the money race for next year. Skinner entered the year with $395,816 in fundraising. Then, in March, her campaign transferred another $435,278 in contributions left over from Skinner’s 2012 Assembly account. What is left over is $94,082 in new contributions covering January 1 to June 30. Skinner also reported expenditures of $41,174.

During the same period, Chan raised $202,100 in contributions and spent $44,371. But, like Skinner, Chan’s totals are padded by $72,500 transferred from her 2014 supervisorial account. Chan’s real amount of contributions for the six-month period is $129,600. Swanson reported $96,800 in contributions, while spending $37,187.

Skinner’s inherent money lead undoubtedly puts her campaign in a strong position to advance to the top two open primary in November 2016, but it’s never a certainty. Former Assemblymember Mary Hayashi entered last year’s campaign in the Tenth State Senate District race with Bob Wieckowski maintaining roughly the same campaign finance figures as Skinner. Hayashi’s personal troubles notwithstanding, she failed to make the November election.

The early fundraising results also reflect Skinner and Chan’s reputations as solid fundraisers. In addition, they may also hint at uncertainty among East Bay Democrats over Swanson’s health. Since leaving the Assembly in 2011, Swanson is often seen walking with the aid of a cane. Nevertheless, Swanson touts the strong endorsements of Ninth District seat holder State Sen. Loni Hancock and Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Tony Thurmond.