While the candidates must live in the district, they run county wide. The ability to spend money can be a strategic and tactical advantage in a county with 333,000 registered voters, about one-third of whom are expected to vote in the primary election.
For example, during this latest reporting period, Ms. Masur spent nearly $30,000 on political consultants and about $22,000 on printing and postage.
Candidate Warren Slocum, a former county chief elections officer and assessor-county clerk-recorder, reported spending $45,683 for printing and postage and $10,000 on consulting.
Candidate Kirsten Keith, the mayor of Menlo Park, spent $11,000 on billboard advertising, her report shows.
Candidates also lend themselves money. Mr. Slocum's report shows a loan of $102,683 from himself and his wife Maria Diaz-Slocum. Ms. Keith lent herself $50,000 on top of a $10,000 loan in February. Guillermo "Memo" Morantes, a member of the county Board of Education and the second-biggest fundraiser this reporting period, lent himself $25,000 in December.
If none of the seven candidates gets more than 50 percent of the vote in June, the top two voter-getters will run again in the November election, when the presidential race will attract far more voters.
Finance reports for the seven candidates for from mid-March to mid-May show the following donation totals:
• Andy Cohen, a member of the Menlo Park City Council, raised $3,449 for a total of $5,065, not including an $8,000 loan to himself.
• Kirsten Keith raised $11,502 in donations for a total of $26,844, not including $60,000 in loans to herself.
• Shelly Masur raised $35,878 in donations for a year-to-date total of $96,818, with no loans reported.
• Memo Morantes raised $21,587 for a total of $33,425, not including a $25,000 loan to himself.
• Carlos Romero, a member of the East Palo Alto City Council, raised $6,224, bringing his total to $12,674, not including a $35,000 loan to himself.
• Ernesto "Ernie" Schmidt, a Redwood City Planning Commissioner, raised $1,699, bringing his total to $5,174, not including a $300 loan to himself.
• Warren Slocum raised $9,287 for a total of $20,237, not including family loans of $102,683.
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