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Klausner leads school-board fundraising

Campaign finance reports show her raising nearly double closest rival, Melissa Baten Caswell

Palo Alto school board candidate Barbara Klausner has raised nearly twice the amount of her closest rival, Melissa Baten Caswell, according to campaign finance reports filed last week.

Klausner reported raising $23,908 compared to Baten Caswell's $12,550.

Candidates Claude Ezran and Wynn Hausser are running similarly-priced campaigns, at $11,235 and $11,159 respectively.

Incumbent Camille Townsend reported raising $7,629, while Pingyu Liu did not file a committee campaign statement. A campaign form filed in August indicates Liu intends to raise less than $1,000 for his campaign.

There are three openings on the school board to be filled in the Nov. 6 election, and Townsend is the only incumbent. Campaign expenditures are mainly for ads, lawn signs and literature.

All candidates but Liu bought ad space from the Weekly. Baten Caswell spent about $2,500, Ezran about $3,400, Hausser $360, Klausner about $1,990 and Townsend $778.

Candidates also paid to print promotional materials and mail them. Ezran, Klausner and Townsend listed payments of $1,140, $2,218 and $1,341 respectively to design firms to create the lawn signs now dotting the city.

Donations from Stanford University employees, lawyers from firms nationwide, and a handful of school district employees helped push Klausner's funding above her peers'. She is the only candidate to report contributions from current PAUSD teachers. Klausner worked for the district from 1998 to last spring as a math teacher and later math specialist.

Ezran logged only four individual donations and loaned $10,000 to the campaign.

Baten Caswell, Hausser, and Townsend listed various individual donations.

The statements also revealed current board members' loyalties. Member Mandy Lowell, who is not seeking reelection, donated $250 to Townsend. Member Gail Price, also not seeking reelection, was reimbursed about $270 by Wynn Hausser for "campaign literature or mailings." She and former Mayor Vic Ojakian are co-chairs of Hausser's campaign.

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