Palo Alto City Councilman Cory Wolbach and challenger Alison Cormack have taken an early but significant lead in the race for campaign cash, with each raising more than $35,000 as of the end of June, according to newly released campaign-finance disclosures.
Wolbach, an incumbent who strongly favors pro-housing policies and who is one of five candidates running for three seats, led the way with a total of $37,467 in raised cash, which includes sizable contributions from local housing advocates, tech professionals and elected officials. Aside from Cormack, a community volunteer who raised $35,299, no other candidate came close.
Wolbach's largest contribution came from real estate broker Monique Lombardelli, who contributed $2,500 to the Wolbach campaign. Members of the citizens group Palo Alto Forward, which supports a more aggressive approach toward building new housing, also supported the Wolbach campaign. Group co-founders Eric Rosenblum, a former planning commissioner and economist Stephen Levy each contributed $1,000, while Palo Alto Forward co-founders Elaine Uang and Sandra Slater gave $500 and $250, respectively.
Wolbach also received $1,080 from Jason Matlof, an investor and tech adviser, and $1,000 from Drew Dennison, founder of the firm Return to Corporation. Realtor Amy Sung also contributed $1,000, according to the finance documents submitted Monday.
His campaign also received a boost from other elected officials, including his council colleagues, Mayor Liz Kniss ($500), Greg Scharff ($500) and Adrian Fine ($250). Mountain View Councilman Ken Rosenberg gave $250, while Menlo Park Councilwoman Kirsten Keith gave $100.
Cormack, who was the second candidate to announce a council bid (Wolbach was first) also received significant support in the early months of the campaign. The former Google employee who led the city's successful 2008 campaign to pass a library bond received $1,000 checks from a variety of tech professionals, including Daniel Russell, research manager at Google; Lynne Russell, her campaign manager; and Google employees Sophie Bromberg and Allan Thygesen.
She also received support from numerous former elected officials, some of whom were in office at the time of the library drive. Former mayors Larry Klein ($1,000), Nancy Shepherd ($250) and Peter Drekmeier ($100) all supported her campaign, as has Joe Simitian, current president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.
The other two incumbents in the November race -- Tom DuBois and Eric Filseth -- received $355 and $250 in total contributions, respectively. Unlike Wolbach and Cormack, who launched their campaigns in March, both DuBois and Filseth (who make up the council's slow-growth "residentialist" wing) didn't announce their re-election plans until late May and June, respectively.
Patrick Boone, who announced his campaign two weeks ago, has not filed a campaign-finance statement.