Heading into the final stretch before Election Day, incumbent City Councilman Greg Schaff has nearly doubled his campaign chest, thanks in part to a few large checks and a $25,000 loan to his own campaign.
Scharff's most recent campaign filing shows that he has received $41,551 in contributions in October alone, a figure that is higher than the total campaign chest of almost every other candidate in the crowded field for Palo Alto City Council. The strong fundraising in October has given him a total of $84,121 in contributions received this year, far more than the other 11 candidates.
Though many of his contributions come from local residents, professionals and city officials, Scharff has also received four-figure checks from Florida residents Eric Schifferli ($3,000) and Jill Schifferli ($2,500), as well as a $5,000 contribution from Cassandra Hallberg, who lives in New Jersey. Councilman Marc Berman has also contributed $200 to Scharff's campaign.
Other candidates have also been busily accumulating funds for the final stretch. A.C. Johnston, an attorney who is making his first run for council, has received $19,500 in contributions in October for a total of $47,760 this year. Technologist Josh Becker and Palo Alto Historic Resources Board member David Bower have each given him $250, as has developer William Reller. Local environmentalist Walt Hays and Realtor Michael Dreyfus contributed $100 each to Johnston's campaign.
Meanwhile, Lydia Kou, one of four candidates endorsed by the grassroots group Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning, reported $3,965 in contributions this month, bringing her year's total to $41,477. The biggest contributor to her campaign in October has been Cupertino City Councilman Barry Chang ($500).
Most of the other candidates who had formed committees (Mark Weiss, Wayne Douglass, John Fredrich and Seelam Reddy are all running low-budget and self-funded campaigns) reported campaign chests in the $20,000 to $25,000 range.
Tom DuBois reported $5,544 in October contributions, bringing his total to $22,830. Eric Filseth, who like DuBois and Kou is affiliated with Palo Altans for Sensible Zoning, received $5,300 this month and $25,568 so far this year.
Both DuBois and Filseth had received $750 contributions this month from Thomas Layton and Tench Coxe, partner at Sutter Hill Ventures. Each has also received $500 from Utilities Advisory Commission member Asher Waldfogel and $100 from former Councilwoman Enid Pearson.
Incumbent Councilwoman Karen Holman, who has also been endorsed by the slow-growth group, had a stronger month, reporting $8,043 in October contributions, or $24,075 overall.
Mayor Nancy Shepherd, meanwhile, has raised $21,958 so far this year, including $4,255 in October. Her contributors this month included Vice Mayor Liz Kniss ($250), former Mayor Peter Drekmeier ($100), Lisa Van Dusen ($250) and the head of the Palo Alto Housing Corporation, Candice Gonzalez ($100).
Legislative aide Cory Wolbach reported comparable numbers, having raised $21,383 this year and $3,219 in October. This includes $200 from Assemblyman Rich Gordon's campaign and $100 from Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who had also made equal contributions to Johnston and Holman.
See the candidates' financial statements here
Read about the candidates' early fundraising efforts
Read up on the candidates at 2014 Election Central