In the last six months, mayoral candidate Laurie Capitelli has raised $67,135 in donations, according to recently filed campaign finance statements. That’s almost 35% more than one of his strongest rivals and fellow city council member, Jesse Arreguín, who raised $24,858 in that same period for a total raised of $47,326. (Prior to Jan. 1, Arreguín had raised $25,007.)
Many of Capitelli’s donations have come from his fellow real estate agents, architects, developers, and engineers. He has gotten $250 donations from Mayor Tom Bates, and City Council members Linda Maio, Lori Droste, Susan Wengraf, and Darryl Moore. Some of his other contributors include Patrick Kennedy, whose development company Panoramic Interests was once busy in Berkeley but is now focused on San Francisco; William Schrader Jr., head of The Austin Group, which just constructed Varsity Berkeley; Jim Novosel, an architect for L’Argent, a 12-story apartment complex planned for Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way, and Melinda Haag, the former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, among others. Capitelli has spent $14,132 and has $59,157 on hand.
Arreguín, in contrast, is backed by a number of people who have spoken out against development, specifically the 302-unit, 18-story apartment complex at 2211 Harold Way. Arreguin abstained from the vote on the use permit to allow the project to proceed. His donors include Becky and Martin O’Malley, the owners of the Daily Planet, Kelly Hammargren, who has filed suit against the project, James McFadden, a Cal professor who has been very outspoken about the scale of the complex, and Paul Matzner, who started the “Save the Shattuck Cinemas” group.
Isabelle Gaston, a candidate for District 6 who has been critical of the amount of money Berkeley spends to maintain its infrastructure, also donated to Arreguín, as did Sheila Jordan, the former school superintendent for Alameda County, Patti Wall, the executive director of the Homeless Action Center, and Andrea Prichett, a leader of Copwatch.
Arreguín spent $20,488 in the last six months and now has $26,858 on hand.
David Mayeri, the founder and builder of the UC Theater on University Avenue, donated $250 to both Capitelli and Arreguin.
City Councilman Kriss Worthington, who just declared his candidacy, did not raise any money in the first six months of 2016 so he did not file a campaign finance disclosure statement.
Ben Gould, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, has raised $6,350 in the last six months. He has spent $770 of that and has $5,380 on hand. Eric Panzer, chair of the board of Livable Berkeley, donated $100 to Gould. Greg Magofna, an aide to Mayor Bates, donated $50. (Magofna also donated $50 to Capitelli and small amounts to several city council races)
Guy “Mike” Lee, who is homeless, has raised $400 for his campaign from himself and from boona cheema, the former director of BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency) She is his campaign treasurer.
None of the other candidates — Zachary Running Wolf, Bernt Wahl or Naomi Pete — filed statements.
Check back Friday for details about other Berkeley races, including the City Council.
This story has been corrected to show that Arreguín raised more money in 2015 than previously reported.
Kriss Worthington to run for mayor (07.22.16)
Would a homeless mayor make a difference for the homeless (06.29.16)
Laurie Capitelli to run for Berkeley mayor in 2016 (11.18.16)
With mayor and two councilmen stepping aside, Berkeley’s election is heating up (01.26.16)
Jesse Arreguín formally announces run for mayor (10.22.15)
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