Cash Continues Pouring into Santa Clara County Races

All but one of the candidates vying for terming-out Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager’s seat in the June 5 primary election have surpassed the quarter-million dollar fundraising mark, according to campaign finance reports filed on Wednesday.

Susan Ellenberg, a San Jose Unified School District trustee and program director at the Silicon Valley Organization, closed out 2017 with $254,175 in the bank—more than $144,000 of it raised from July through the end of December.

Santa Clara Councilman Dominic Caserta hit that benchmark from the get go, entering the race for the District 4 supervisor’s post with more than $250,000 from 300-plus donors almost exactly a year ago. By Dec. 31, the terming-out councilor reported a cash balance of $277,609.

Former San Jose Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio was another candidate to reach the quarter-million mark early on, raising $20,000 in the latest fundraising period and $275,068 overall in 2017.

San Jose’s Disrict 9 Councilman Don Rocha, who terms out this year, trailed close behind by the end of December with $260, 973 in contributions from all of last year—$120,000 of which poured in during the final six months of 2017.

Former Campbell Councilman Jason Baker raised $50,524 in the most recent filing period, and $103,631 in all.

County officials who are running unopposed so far include District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman and District Attorney Jeff Rosen.

County Assessor Larry Stone, who has lamented the dearth of challengers in past year, apparently has some competition Milpitas Councilman: Anthony Phan. But only Stone has collected any donations—$9,545 through Dec. 31, per the most recent filings. And Phan has said he is “not very serious” about running.

Sheriff Laurie Smith, meanwhile, will face a few contenders in her coming bid for re-election: former Undersheriff John Hirokawa, perennial challenger Martin Monica and bailiff Joseph LaJeunesse.

Incumbent Smith hold the fundraising lead with $91,245 in donations to Hirakawa’s $66,003. LeJeunesse raked in $19, 113 in all, with the bulk of it coming through in the filing period that ended Dec. 31.

Monica didn’t file any campaign fundraising reports by the deadline. Neither did Smith.

Corrections: Earlier versions of this article stated that Deputy Assessor David Ginsborg was running against his boss, Larry Stone. Though Ginsborg mulled the idea, he terminated his Ginsborg for Assessor 2018 account in November once it became clear that Stone would run for re-election. Also, it was incorrectly reported that John Hirokawa had outraised Sheriff Smith. The earlier reported figures included $50,000 in loans Hirokawa made to his own campaign.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


    • >His lack of awareness and responsibility for his own actions is appalling.

      It doesn’t seem to affect his career though. People keep voting for him.

      • Well, counting his runs for Mayor, Congress, and Open Space District Representative (am I leaving anything out?), he has lost more elections than he has won.

  1. > On Wednesday night, the group Democratic Activists for Women Now, or DAWN, voted unanimously to oppose Oliverio’s candidacy.

    All you need to know.

    Go back to your homes. Nothing more to see.

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