Councilwoman Kirsten Keith dominates in early campaign fundraising | August 8, 2018 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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News - August 8, 2018

Councilwoman Kirsten Keith dominates in early campaign fundraising

by Kate Bradshaw

One potential candidate for Menlo Park's upcoming City Council elections has raised far more money for her campaign than others.

Council incumbent and District 2 potential candidate Kirsten Keith, as of a July 31 deadline to disclose campaign contributions, has filed documents reporting that she raised $19,267 as of June 30. Of that, $18,430 was in the form of cash contributions and $837 came from non-monetary campaign contributions. She reports she has so far spent $2,248.

The only other potential council candidate who filed a campaign contributions report was District 1 candidate George Yang, who reported he has received $70 in monetary contributions, and contributed $1,000 of his own money for his campaign. He reported spending $942. He received $50 from Roy Wollsey of Los Altos Hills and $20 from an undisclosed source.

The rest of the potential candidates for City Council have not yet filed the paperwork needed to launch campaign committees, according to City Clerk Judi Herren.

Upcoming elections

2018 is the first year Menlo Park will hold district elections as it transitions away from an at-large election system. The city is making the switch to avoid a lawsuit it was threatened with last August, which alleges that the city's at-large election system made it harder for the candidates that minority residents prefer to get elected.

In November, the seats for Menlo Park's new Districts 1, 2 and 4 will be up for election. The districts represent the Belle Haven, Willows/Flood Triangle and downtown/Allied Arts neighborhoods of Menlo Park, respectively.

As of Aug. 3, none of the potential candidates had formally filed the required paperwork to run for office, according to Herren. The filing period will end on Friday, Aug. 10.

Keith's contribution sources

Keith reported campaign contributions from many local elected officials, current and former city commissioners, and local business owners and leaders. She is seeking to serve a third term on the council, but this time, she must secure votes from the residents of District 2 rather than from the entire city.

In a written statement, she said, "I'm energized by the overwhelming support I've received for my re-election campaign. With district elections coming to Menlo Park, residents believe qualifications and a good track record matter more than ever before."

Among the contributors to Keith's re-election campaign, through June 30, are:

Local elected officials: $250 each from San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa, San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos, and Palo Alto council member member Liz Kniss; $200 from San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley; $100 each from Joe Simitian, Santa Clara County Supervisor, Rob Silano, director of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Cory Wolbach, Palo Alto council member, Kevin Mullin, state assembly member, Rick Bonilla, San Mateo council member, Nancy Smith, Sunnyvale council member, and Pat Showalter, Mountain View council member; and $50 each from Sara Lamnin, Hayward council member, and Mike Kasperzak, former Mountain View council member.

Current and former Menlo Park commissioners: $250 from Allan Bedwell, former environmental quality commissioner; $200 from Ryann Price, environmental quality commissioner; $100 each from Scott Marshall, environmental quality commission chair, Andrew Barnes, planning commissioner, Katie Behroozi, complete streets commissioner, Karen Grove, housing commissioner, Bill Kirsch, complete streets commissioner, and Rachael Kaci, library commissioner; and $50 each from Camille Kennedy, planning commissioner and Katie Ferrick, former planning commissioner.

Local developers: $950 each from John Tarlton and the Sobrato Organization, and $250 from Jeffrey Pollock.

Political action committees: $500 from the California Apartment Association PAC.

Local business leaders: $250 each from Monica and Patrick Corman, real estate broker and Kepler's Literary Foundation board chair, respectively, and Katharina Powers, owner of Art Ventures Gallery; and $50 from Cheeky Monkey owner Dexter Chow.

Local nonprofit leaders: $100 each from Diane Bailey, executive director of Menlo Spark and Jan Lindenthal at MidPen Housing; and $50 from Melissa Lukin, executive director of Rebuilding Together.

Others in Menlo Park: $500 from Jamie D'Alessandro, of the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation board; $250 each from Josh Becker, George Eshoo, Tom Kelley, Andrew Cresci and David Gildea; and $100 each from Glen Rojas, former city manager, Jym Clendenin, of the Menlo Park Historical Association, and Maya Perkins, Facebook program manager.

Others outside of Menlo Park: $1,000 each from Deborah Conrad, John Galvin and Tod Spieker of Atherton; $750 from Alex Tourk of Mill Valley; $250 each from Steven Dostart and Carol Collins of Atherton, Giselle Hale of Redwood City, Jere King and Megan O'Reilly Lewis of Palo Alto, and Don Cecil of San Francisco; and $200 each from Yan Liang of Palo Alto and Rosalind Souza of San Carlos.

Non-monetary contributions Keith received were for a P.O. box and sponsorship, which she paid for herself (a $362 value); and contributions of flower arrangements, food and refreshments for a kickoff event she held, with $400 in value from Deborah Conrad of Atherton and $75 in value from Gino Gasparini, public affairs manager of Recology.

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