Every Dollar Counts in District 10

Edesa Bitbadal, the third-place finisher in the District 10 San Jose City Council primary, raised $7,922 in the final filing period, bringing her campaign total to $118,589.42—the second highest of any candidate in the five districts. District 10 is unique in that it had six candidates and was the only primary race not featuring an incumbent councilmember.

The final vote total found Bitbadal 90 votes short of second place and a spot in the November runoff. Bitbadal spent $23,449.49 in the final weeks, leaving her with a $312 ending cash balance—not nearly enough to fund a recount.

Bitbadal believes a late attack ad by the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce PAC, which cost almost $9,000, swayed the race. That might be true considering the ChamberPAC spent more than $29,000 to oppose Bitbadal. (The ChamberPAC spent a similar amount to oppose labor candidate Brian O’Neill in District 10, while it spent $46,000 to support Rose Herrera in District 8.) But it could also be said that Bitbadal set herself up for the attack early in the campaign by accepting the help of former Mayor Ron Gonzales, who left office in less than glorious fashion.

Johnny Khamis, who came in first and one vote ahead of Robert Braunstein, raised $34,508.12 in the final filing period, for a total of $105,662.12. Few expenditures have set him up in a good position, as he still reported an ending cash balance of $53,909.83.

This is slightly deceiving, though, because Khamis contributed $18,272.12 to his own campaign in addition to loaning himself $20,000 back in December 2011. (Candidates are allowed to contribute as much money as they like to their own campaigns, although they can’t exceed the max contributions limit per district.) Khamis had an assortment of contributors, including six different people with the same last name or similar spelling to his political consultant, Vic Ajlouny.

Braunstein raised considerably less than his closest opponents, reeling in $2,850 in the final filing period and just $41,580 total. (That total includes a $20,000 loan he gave himself.) However, Braunstein did have a built-in advantage from the name recognition that came from long-running high school sports television show. He did spend $42,849, so he’ll need to continue raising funds up until November for the runoff against Khamis.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. > Johnny Khamis, who came in first and one vote ahead of Robert Braunstein, raised $34,508.12 in the final filing period, for a total of $105,662.12.

    I voted in District 10 FOR Johnny Khamis.

    I’m quite confident that it was MY vote that put him over the top.

  2. I’m quite confident that the District 10 race will include two of the absolute worst candidates possible for office! What qualifications have these two gentlemen?
    One is a sports news anchor, the other a ‘financial analyst’. Horrifying!
    I’m staying out of this one!

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