This is the corrected version of a story that was posted earlier today, which neglected to cover Barry Chang's contributions. Palo Alto Online regrets the error.
With the race to succeed Assemblyman Rich Gordon in Sacramento heating up, Cupertino Mayor Barry Chang has raised more than $330,000 for his campaign, overtaking Palo Alto Councilman Marc Berman and Mountain View Councilman Mike Kasperzak, according to documents filed earlier this week with the California Secretary of State.
The campaign filings show Chang receiving $336,708 in contributions between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2015. With only $473 in expenditures, Chang ended the year with $336,236 in his campaign chest.
The campaign filings show the Berman campaign ending 2015 with $259,800 in cash. Two other candidates, patent attorney Vicki Veenker and Mountain View Councilman Mike Kasperzak, had $192,240 and $140,540, respectively.
All four are are looking to replace the termed-out Gordon in the 24th Assembly District, which includes large portions of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, including the cities of Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
The latest campaign filings indicate Berman receiving $92,353 in contributions in the latest reporting period, which stretches from July 1 to Dec. 31. Kasperzak received $60,917 over the same period.
According to the campaign finance statements, four candidates have made significant loans to their campaigns in the closing days of 2015. Veenker loaned $75,000 to her campaign; Kasperzak loaned $70,000 to his; while Berman loaned himself $25,000. Chang loaned $20,000 from his 2014 campaign to his current one, and his wife and fellow Cupertino real estate agent, Sue Chang, also loaned him the same amount.
Menlo Park Councilman Peter Ohtaki and Palo Alto resident Seelam Reddy have also declared their intentions to seek the Assembly seat, though neither has filed a campaign statement electronically.
According to the documents, Chang, Berman, Veenker and Kasperzak have all benefited from sizable contributions from attorneys, business leaders, academics and, in Kasperzak's case, developers. Berman's list of contributors includes Jed York, CEO of the Forty Niners, who contributed $1,000 to the campaign. Family connections also appeared to have helped, including $4,200 contributions from Sam Berman, Lucy Berman, Robert Berman and Joel Berman. Another $3,000 from Burlingame attorney Joseph Cotchett. Local realtor Michael Dreyfus and architect Daniel Garber each contributed $1,000 to Berman's campaign.
Chang, meanwhile, is leading the pack in giant checks. In addition to the dozens of small donations from residents in the southern part of Santa Clara County, Chang received $8,000 from Cupertino investor Peter Huang, another $8,000 from Los Altos resident Suzan Grisanti and $8,400 checks from Cupertino realtor Coco Tan, San Jose investor Caixing Xie, Sunnyvale investor Yu L; and Cupertino residents Gouhua Xiong and Yibin Wen. Several corporations have also made $8,400 contributions to Chang's campaign, including Golden Fremont Inc.; I Life Inc.; Everest Inc.; and an entity called MS 85 LLC.
Veenker's major contributions include $4,200 from entrepreneur Asher Waldfogel, who serves on Palo Alto's Planning and Transportation Commission; Palo Alto resident Helyn Maclean (who also contributed $4,200); $2,000 from VMWare attorney Craig Norris; $1,000 from Palo Alto attorney Karen Boyd; and $1,000 from Stephen Hibbard, an attorney with the firm Shearman & Sterling LLP.
Kasperzak received $1,000 contributions from developers John McNellis, Steve Dostart and William Thormahlen, while real estate magnate and long-time Democratic donor George Marcus contributed $2,500. Kasperzak also received $500 contributions from developers Justin Mozart and John Forrest and $1,000 from John Melton, a former member of Palo Alto's Utilities Advisory Commission.
While Chang's campaign ended the year with most cash, Berman is benefiting from several high-profile endorsements. Last year, Gordon endorsed Berman for the seat. In late January, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom did the same, saying Berman represents "the next generation of progressive leadership in California."