Campaign donations are pouring in for John Inks in his bid for a third term on the Mountain View City Council. Just days away from the election, Inks reported a $10,000 surge of new fundraising, much of it from apartment owners and their advocates.
The latest information on campaign donations was made available in a mandatory round of campaign finance statements on Thursday, Oct. 25.
Inks, a Libertarian who framed his campaign largely around his opposition to rent control, has apparently become the candidate of choice for a variety of stakeholders. Large donations include $2,000 from Tod Spieker, who owns 2,900 apartments in the region; $1,250 from Mitra Oaks LLC, a Los Altos-based apartment management company, and $1,000 from the California Real Estate political-action committee. The California Apartment Association also gave Inks' campaign $999, an amount just one dollar shy of the $1,000 limit that requires immediate reporting.
The new donations put Inks at just over $29,000 in total fundraising, placing him with the head of the pack in the six-way race for three seats on the Mountain View City Council.
In addition, the California Apartment Association also spent $7,950 on a mass mailer promoting Inks. Those materials were listed separately as an independent expenditure.
Closely matching him in terms of dollars is Planning Commissioner Ellen Kamei, who reported about $3,700 in new funding for this period. Her backers include the Northern California Carpenter's Regional Council ($600) and the California Real Estate political-action committee ($500).
Her colleague on the city Planning Commission, Lucas Ramirez, reported scant fundraising in this most recent report. He raised just $216 in new donations, although his campaign enjoyed months of early funding. Ramirez trails just slightly behind with a total of about $26,000.
Running for re-election, Councilwoman Pat Showalter has raised more than $21,500 with the help of about $2,529 in new donations. She received funding from the Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council ($500), and a variety of smaller donations from individuals.
The other incumbent, Mayor Lenny Siegel, had pledged to decline any money from anyone affiliated with Mountain View's developers, vendors or major companies. He reported just under $5,000 in new donations, including $1,000 from the Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices union, $700 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, and $500 from the Santa Clara & San Benito Counties Building & Construction Trades Council. This put Siegel's total fundraising at about $14,700.
Retired city planner Alison Hicks also received an October boost to her campaign, with about $3,300 in new donations. Among her donors were multiple members of the downtown preservationist group Livable Mountain View, including architect Joyce Yin ($1,332) and data privacy consultant Mary Hodder ($500).
Campaign donations are a crude indicator for how candidates actually match up in an election, yet the information can still shed some insight as to whom the varied political factions are rallying behind. The latest round of campaign filings can be found on the city's election portal.
The Voice's profiles of all six City Council candidates can be found here.