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Menlo Park City Council member leads in campaign contributions for District 3 Supervisor race

Ray Mueller has raised more than $236,000 since he began fundraising in early 2021

Ray Mueller, current Menlo Park City Council member, is running for the District 3 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

Ray Mueller, Menlo Park City Council member and former mayor, is outraising his three opponents for the District 3 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, with Laura Parmer-Lohan, a San Carlos City Council member, not far behind.

Candidates Virginia Chang Kiraly and Steven Booker reported raising less than half as much for their campaigns.

Campaign finance disclosures from Jan. 1, 2021 to April 23, 2022 show that Mueller has raised about $236,500, with significant support from realtors and real estate political action committees, developers, tech and business executives, and local small businesses owners.

Groups that have donated to Mueller's campaign include the California Apartment Association ($1,000), which represents developers and owners of rental properties and has been an outspoken opponent of rent control, as well as the political action committee of the California Association of Realtors ($1,500).

In addition, Mueller received support from the San Mateo County Firefighters union group ($1,000) and the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council union ($1,500).

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Individual realtors, developers and brokers have also made thousand-dollar donations to Mueller. Several executives of Tarlton Properties, includings its founder John Tarlton, have backed his campaign. Tarlton Properties is a Menlo Park-based commercial property developer that recently submitted plans to develop a life sciences building in Menlo Park at 1350 Adams Court. The project is currently under review by the city planning commission.

Robert Webster, founder of Bohannon Development Company, donated $1,000. The developer is behind the Menlo Gateway project, which includes a 230-room hotel near Meta headquarters.

Other notable contributions come from large and small business executives and owners.

Mark Flegel of Flegels home furnishing ($500), Richard and Mary Ann Draeger of Draeger's Market ($2,500), and Andrew "Drew" Dunlevie, president of Peninsula Arts Guild ($500) — all of which have businesses based in Menlo Park — have donated to Mueller's campaign.

Gregory Penner, chairman of Walmart board of directors and founder of Madrone Capital Partners, a Menlo Park-based investment management firm, donated $2,000. His wife Carrie Penner, the granddaughter of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and a vocal supporter of charter schools, contributed $2,000. The campaign finance report lists her as a board member of the Charter School Growth Fund, a venture capital firm that backs charter schools.

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Local elected officials backing Mueller include San Mateo County Controller Juan Raigoza ($100), District 4 county Supervisor Warren Slocum ($1,000) and District 5 Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian ($250). Mueller previously served as Simitian's chief of staff.

Parmer-Lohan reported the second biggest campaign war chest, raising about $203,800 since Dec. 2020.

Don Horsley, the current District 3 supervisor, endorsed Parmer-Lohan and donated $1,000. Other notable donors include Amy Buckmaster, CEO of the San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, and Don Cecil, the chamber's vice chairman.

Some of her other larger contributions come from those in the medical tech and healthcare industry, reflecting her marketing background in biotech. Currently, she's the chief of staff at Amgen, a biopharmaceutical company based in Thousand Oaks.

Supporters include Susan Stimson, president of Zenflow, a medical device company ($1,000); Pamela Kirtzman, health-care CEO at Sequoia Healthcare District (about $500); Marga Ortigas-Wedekind, chief commercial strategy officer for Fogarty Innovation ($1,000); and Debbie Donovan, a market development director at Cala Health ($1,000).

She also received a $1,000 donation from the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Virginia Chang Kiraly, an elected board member of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and the president of the San Mateo County Harbor District, reported raising about $132,000 for her campaign, including $50,000 in loans.

Some of her notable contributions come from local officials including: county Sheriff Carlos Bolanos ($500); county Undersheriff Mark Robbins ($250); and several city council members.

Maryann Derwrin, former mayor and current city council member of Portola Valley ($1,000); Carlos Romero, East Palo Alto City Council member ($200); Donna Colson, Burlingame City Council member; and Marie Chuang, Hillsborough City Council member ($200) have backed Chang Kiraly's campaign.

Steven Booker, a representative for the county’s Democratic Central Committee of District 3, reported raising just over $100,000 for his campaign since he began receiving donations in March 2021.

His campaign finance reports show overwhelming support from electricians, perhaps owing to his background as a business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union group. Several electricians across the Peninsula have donated $2,000. Other contributors include members of IBEW.

Booker has also received donations from the Sheet Metal Workers union based in Livermore ($2,000) and the San Francisco chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees ($500).

The top two fundraisers are also the biggest spenders, investing heavily on campaign consultants and polling and survey research.

Mueller has spent about $137,000 since he began fundraising for his campaign in 2021. About $26,500 went to EMC Research, a data analytics firm that specializes in polling and public opinion research, and another $26,000 to Wheelhouse Strategies, which is listed under consulting services in Mueller's campaign finance reports.

Since she began fundraising in late 2020, Parmer-Lohan has spent $112,000 on her campaign. A large portion of her expenditures went to Godbe Corporation, a San Mateo-based public opinion research firm ($33,575), and to Lew Edwards Group, an Oakland-based political consulting firm ($26,000).

Booker and Chang Kiraly reported less expenses. Booker has spent about $74,200 for his campaign, largely going towards consulting and other services from CleanSweep Campaigns.

Chang Kiraly had the least amount of reported expenses, spending about $53,900. She lists a few sources for consulting: Storefront Political Media ($23,700); NGP VAN, a DC-based voter database and web hosting service provider often used in Democrat campaigns ($10,080); and a person named Casey Serafina ($5,700), a former Menlo-Atherton High School student a former Menlo-Atherton High School student and Girl Scout who advocated for the county to use PulsePoint, a smart-phone app, as an alert system for people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The next campaign finance report deadline is May 26 and covers the period from April 24 to May 22.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misstated the dollar amount of a loan that Virginia Chang Kiraly has taken in support of her campaign. The correct amount of the loan is $50,000. This story has been updated to reflect the correction.

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Lloyd Lee joined The Almanac in 2022 as the Menlo Park reporter. Previously, he was the editorial assistant for the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com. Read more >>

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Menlo Park City Council member leads in campaign contributions for District 3 Supervisor race

Ray Mueller has raised more than $236,000 since he began fundraising in early 2021

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Tue, May 3, 2022, 11:54 am

Ray Mueller, Menlo Park City Council member and former mayor, is outraising his three opponents for the District 3 seat on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, with Laura Parmer-Lohan, a San Carlos City Council member, not far behind.

Candidates Virginia Chang Kiraly and Steven Booker reported raising less than half as much for their campaigns.

Campaign finance disclosures from Jan. 1, 2021 to April 23, 2022 show that Mueller has raised about $236,500, with significant support from realtors and real estate political action committees, developers, tech and business executives, and local small businesses owners.

Groups that have donated to Mueller's campaign include the California Apartment Association ($1,000), which represents developers and owners of rental properties and has been an outspoken opponent of rent control, as well as the political action committee of the California Association of Realtors ($1,500).

In addition, Mueller received support from the San Mateo County Firefighters union group ($1,000) and the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council union ($1,500).

Individual realtors, developers and brokers have also made thousand-dollar donations to Mueller. Several executives of Tarlton Properties, includings its founder John Tarlton, have backed his campaign. Tarlton Properties is a Menlo Park-based commercial property developer that recently submitted plans to develop a life sciences building in Menlo Park at 1350 Adams Court. The project is currently under review by the city planning commission.

Robert Webster, founder of Bohannon Development Company, donated $1,000. The developer is behind the Menlo Gateway project, which includes a 230-room hotel near Meta headquarters.

Other notable contributions come from large and small business executives and owners.

Mark Flegel of Flegels home furnishing ($500), Richard and Mary Ann Draeger of Draeger's Market ($2,500), and Andrew "Drew" Dunlevie, president of Peninsula Arts Guild ($500) — all of which have businesses based in Menlo Park — have donated to Mueller's campaign.

Gregory Penner, chairman of Walmart board of directors and founder of Madrone Capital Partners, a Menlo Park-based investment management firm, donated $2,000. His wife Carrie Penner, the granddaughter of Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, and a vocal supporter of charter schools, contributed $2,000. The campaign finance report lists her as a board member of the Charter School Growth Fund, a venture capital firm that backs charter schools.

Local elected officials backing Mueller include San Mateo County Controller Juan Raigoza ($100), District 4 county Supervisor Warren Slocum ($1,000) and District 5 Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian ($250). Mueller previously served as Simitian's chief of staff.

Parmer-Lohan reported the second biggest campaign war chest, raising about $203,800 since Dec. 2020.

Don Horsley, the current District 3 supervisor, endorsed Parmer-Lohan and donated $1,000. Other notable donors include Amy Buckmaster, CEO of the San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, and Don Cecil, the chamber's vice chairman.

Some of her other larger contributions come from those in the medical tech and healthcare industry, reflecting her marketing background in biotech. Currently, she's the chief of staff at Amgen, a biopharmaceutical company based in Thousand Oaks.

Supporters include Susan Stimson, president of Zenflow, a medical device company ($1,000); Pamela Kirtzman, health-care CEO at Sequoia Healthcare District (about $500); Marga Ortigas-Wedekind, chief commercial strategy officer for Fogarty Innovation ($1,000); and Debbie Donovan, a market development director at Cala Health ($1,000).

She also received a $1,000 donation from the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Virginia Chang Kiraly, an elected board member of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District and the president of the San Mateo County Harbor District, reported raising about $132,000 for her campaign, including $50,000 in loans.

Some of her notable contributions come from local officials including: county Sheriff Carlos Bolanos ($500); county Undersheriff Mark Robbins ($250); and several city council members.

Maryann Derwrin, former mayor and current city council member of Portola Valley ($1,000); Carlos Romero, East Palo Alto City Council member ($200); Donna Colson, Burlingame City Council member; and Marie Chuang, Hillsborough City Council member ($200) have backed Chang Kiraly's campaign.

Steven Booker, a representative for the county’s Democratic Central Committee of District 3, reported raising just over $100,000 for his campaign since he began receiving donations in March 2021.

His campaign finance reports show overwhelming support from electricians, perhaps owing to his background as a business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union group. Several electricians across the Peninsula have donated $2,000. Other contributors include members of IBEW.

Booker has also received donations from the Sheet Metal Workers union based in Livermore ($2,000) and the San Francisco chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees ($500).

The top two fundraisers are also the biggest spenders, investing heavily on campaign consultants and polling and survey research.

Mueller has spent about $137,000 since he began fundraising for his campaign in 2021. About $26,500 went to EMC Research, a data analytics firm that specializes in polling and public opinion research, and another $26,000 to Wheelhouse Strategies, which is listed under consulting services in Mueller's campaign finance reports.

Since she began fundraising in late 2020, Parmer-Lohan has spent $112,000 on her campaign. A large portion of her expenditures went to Godbe Corporation, a San Mateo-based public opinion research firm ($33,575), and to Lew Edwards Group, an Oakland-based political consulting firm ($26,000).

Booker and Chang Kiraly reported less expenses. Booker has spent about $74,200 for his campaign, largely going towards consulting and other services from CleanSweep Campaigns.

Chang Kiraly had the least amount of reported expenses, spending about $53,900. She lists a few sources for consulting: Storefront Political Media ($23,700); NGP VAN, a DC-based voter database and web hosting service provider often used in Democrat campaigns ($10,080); and a person named Casey Serafina ($5,700), a former Menlo-Atherton High School student a former Menlo-Atherton High School student and Girl Scout who advocated for the county to use PulsePoint, a smart-phone app, as an alert system for people trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

The next campaign finance report deadline is May 26 and covers the period from April 24 to May 22.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story misstated the dollar amount of a loan that Virginia Chang Kiraly has taken in support of her campaign. The correct amount of the loan is $50,000. This story has been updated to reflect the correction.

Comments

MP Father
Registered user
Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 3, 2022 at 1:49 pm
MP Father, Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
Registered user
on May 3, 2022 at 1:49 pm

I like Ray and appreciate all he has done for MP but I, for one, am not comfortable with the amount and percentage of contributions he has from developers and realtors. I am probably being naive, and this is probably the case with most or all of the previous Menlo Park City Council members which would explain Measure M and the host of other developments in town that have favored developers and realtors rather than Menlo Park's residents. These developments are driven by the developers to alter zoning requirements in their favor, increase the value of their property, and permanently alter the make-up of our town. Certainly not a fair fight when the developers are funding our City Council members and perhaps future County leaders.


woodsider
Registered user
Woodside: other
on May 6, 2022 at 8:47 pm
woodsider, Woodside: other
Registered user
on May 6, 2022 at 8:47 pm

Has anyone asked about his wife’s conflicting role as principal of the only middle school in Portola Valley? Is t this sn uncomfortable consolidation of power ? Maybe she should run a middle school in an adjacent county??


Menlo Park Parent
Registered user
Menlo Park: The Willows
on May 7, 2022 at 8:59 am
Menlo Park Parent, Menlo Park: The Willows
Registered user
on May 7, 2022 at 8:59 am

@MP Father, yes, you are catching on. MP politics has always been controlled by real estate/development interests. But we finally have a majority of council members who are not controlled by this money.


MP Resident
Registered user
Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 7, 2022 at 2:34 pm
MP Resident, Menlo Park: Downtown
Registered user
on May 7, 2022 at 2:34 pm

MP Parent, you are correct that the current majority is not controlled by developer money, but they are tied to Menlo Together, which despite its name, was not created to serve today's MP residents.


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