With Election Day fast approaching, Webster Lincoln, one of four newcomers vying for a seat on the East Palo Alto City Council, leads the way in campaign contributions over his six opponents, raising $18,005.69 as of Oct. 17, the latest finance disclosures show.
Documents show that $13,872.69, or more than 75% of his campaign funds, came from Lincoln's own pocket. The rest of his funds, $4,133, came from individual donations, ranging from $100 to $500.
The contributions include $500 from his mother, Niambi Lincoln, current manager at the Palo Alto Park Mutual Water Company; $500 from Katherine Loudd, Lincoln's grandmother and former manager at the water company; $500 from William Treseder, a senior vice president of product at Palo Alto tech company BMNT; and $250 from Catherine Burton, a Sequoia Union High School District teacher.
Behind Lincoln, fellow newcomer Antonio Lopez raised $16,451.79. Most of Lopez's funds came from individual donations ranging between $100 and $500. As of Oct. 17, his campaign had raised $14,540.
The 26-year-old doctoral candidate in literature at Stanford University received a substantial pool of donations from staff, faculty and colleagues from his alma maters, local schools and other educational institutions. Several contributions came from various Menlo School faculty members, including a $104 donation from Head of School Than Healy.
Documents also show contributions from donors in the publishing and writing sphere, including San Mateo County poet laureate Aileen Cassinetto, and from real estate investment firms, including Blair Volckmann, a partner at Harvest Properties, the Oakland-based developer that purchased 17 acres near Bay Road and Weeks Street last year, according to the San Francisco Business Times.
While a majority of the contributions, almost 70%, came in within a single month, from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17, the rest of the money came from Lopez, who lent his campaign $2,365.
Larry Moody, the former mayor and vice mayor who is seeking a third term on council, received support from local politicians, real estate agents and investors, tech employees and the East Palo Alto Police Officers Association, according to documents.
In total, the longtime East Palo Alto resident raised $14,755 for his campaign, solely through donations.
Contributions include $500 from San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum; $500 from John Pimentel, a candidate for the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees; $250 from Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian; $250 from Pat Burt, a former mayor looking to return to the Palo Alto City Council this fall; $200 from state Senate candidate Josh Becker; and $100 from Gisell Hale, a council candidate for Redwood City.
Moody also received several contributions from employees tied to the tech industry, including $200 from Juan Salazar, a public policy manager at Facebook. A few donations also came from real estate agents and investors, such as a $250 contribution from Michael Kramer, managing director of Sand Hill Property Company, which has a few investments in the city.
The campaigns of incumbent Lisa Gauthier and Juan Mendez, the youngest candidate in the race, have raised substantially less money.
Gauthier's campaign raised $4,205 through donations and loans she provided.
Contributions to the former mayor's re-election efforts include $100 to $500 donations from some of the same individuals who also supported Moody's campaign — Becker, Burt, Pimentel and Salazar.
Leigh Morgan, former chief operating officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who lives in Seattle, also donated $250 to Gauthier's campaign, as well as Azalea Renfield, community services manager at the City Manager's office, who donated $500.
Documents submitted Oct. 30 show that Mendez's campaign received $2,357.63 and came primarily through two sources: a pool of smaller contributions of less than $100 — which means Mendez's campaign does not have to disclose any identifying information on those donors or the dollar amount they gave — and founding CEO of Silicon Valley Bank Roger Smith, who gave $500 to the campaign. There were a few other contributions in the $190 to $400 range, including one from former San Jose City Council candidate Jenny Higgins.
Stewart Hyland, organizing director at the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, initially did not intend to raise more than $2,000 for his campaign, but a recent money transfer of $198 put him above the $2,000 cap. Documents disclosing campaign contributions were not yet filed as of Friday afternoon, Oct. 30, he said.
Carlos Romero, the affordable housing consultant seeking a third term on council was not required to disclose campaign finance information because he did not plan to raise more than $2,000 in campaign contributions.
Romero said he did not want to accept donations to avoid "undue influence from donors" and decided to self-fund his campaign.