The Campaign Column: Announcing our candidate forums!

The Campaign Column: Announcing our candidate forums!

Michele Ellson

We’re opening this week’s (slightly late) Campaign Column with some exciting news: We’re partnering with the Alameda Sun on a pair of candidate debates in September.

Candidates for City Council and mayor will go head to head from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 18, while those running for the school board will meet from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, September 20. Admission to these forums is free, and open to the public.

We’re racing to finalize locations for the forums but wanted to let you know right away that we’ve got all the candidates signed up for these dates and that the forums are happening. Stay tuned here for an update next week!

If you’ve got questions for any of the candidates, you can e-mail those to We’ll also take your questions on the day of each event, both in person and on Twitter.

Let us know you’re coming! You can RSVP for the forums on our Facebook page.

Hope to see you there!


First look at fundraising: While campaign finance disclosures for the November races won’t start rolling out until the election starts – the first set of disclosures is due October 6, the first day people holding absentee ballots can vote – semi-annual reports some candidates have filed with the City Clerk offer an early sense of how much money they’re raising.

City Councilman Stewart Chen, who’s running to keep his seat, raised $17,774.88 during the first six months of 2014, his report shows, and had $14,626.77 on hand as of June 30. Challenger Jim Oddie took in $11,084 – all of it during the last week in June – and spent $32.29.

Mayor Marie Gilmore, who’s also running for re-election, raised $13,366.25 and spent $10,977.09 during the first half of the year, but had nearly $18,000 on hand – leaving her with a balance of $20,658.14 at midyear. Neither Trish Spencer nor Frank Matarrese filed semiannual reports, which means that as of June 30, each raised less than $1,000 for their respective runs.

The bulk of Gilmore’s contributions so far have come from Island residents and business owners, while Chen’s are literally all over the (California) map.

Chen, Gilmore and Oddie all received $1,000 contributions from Assemblyman (and Oddie boss) Rob Bonta’s re-election campaign; so far Oddie has bagged the single largest contribution, a $5,000 check from San Francisco software firm Variphy, for whom he’s listed by the California Secretary of State as an agent.

Records show that since the June 30 filing, Chen, Gilmore and Matarrese have all scored donations of $1,000 and up, which need to be reported within 24 hours of receipt in the 90 days before Election Day. As of Tuesday, Chen had reported additional donations of $1,000 and $2,000 (both from firms in other East Bay cities), Gilmore had received a pair of $1,000 checks (both from local business owners) and Matarrese took in a $1,000 check, from a local resident.

We’ve got a downloadable spreadsheet with all the contributions below.

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Submitted by Tom (not verified) on Fri, Aug 29, 2014

Chen taking money from all over California?
He does not represent Alamedans!
Another great reason not to vote for him