Teresa Alvarado, daughter of former Santa Clara County Supervisor Blanca Alvarado, has taken an early lead in campaign cash against her chief rival, and easily outdistanced five others seeking to succeed disgraced District 2 Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr.
Campaign finance reports filed by Thursday's deadline that included fundraising from Jan. 1 through April 20 showed Alvarado has racked up $66,936 against labor leader and former San Jose Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez, who raised $63,598 -- which included a $6,500 loan to herself.
Alvarado, 48, was elated with the level of early support.
"My contributors clearly are concerned about county government," said the Santa Clara Valley Water District communications manager, who is running on a reform platform of greater transparency and ethical conduct in the wake of criminal charges filed against Shirakawa for misusing taxpayer and campaign donor money.
"They know I'm a fixer and am committed to making the county more effective," she said.
Chavez, 49, who is running on her two-term City Council experience and recent successful measures to hike the county's tax rate and San Jose's minimum wage, was also pleased with her total. She called it competitive with Alvarado's because she started fundraising later than Alvarado.
"I feel very excited and am very humbled by the number of people who contributed," said Chavez, whose donations included a number of labor unions, politicians backed by labor unions and union allies. She pointed out that her contributions also reflected other community members as well, "and that's great."
Posting third in total contributions was Patricia Martinez-Roach, 63, a schoolteacher in the Franklin-McKinley School District, who raised $11,383, almost all of which she loaned herself.
"I'm running as an independent candidate without any strings attached," Martinez-Roach said, adding that underlying both Shirakawa's resignation last month and the reason for the election was "all the money he received from special interests,"something she emphasized she is not seeking. Instead, she said she is counting on "a track record and name ID" as a longtime former school board official.
Also competing for the District 2 seat are Joseph La Jeunesse, 44, a Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office deputy and Army Reserve officer; Scott Hung Pham, 49, a San Jose City College language instructor; and David Wall, 58, a retired city of San Jose worker. A seventh resident, Andrew Abe Diaz, 70, is a write-in candidate.
However, campaign reports from all four men had not been filed electronically with the Registrar of Voters office by this newspaper's deadline Thursday night.
All of the candidates competing in the June 4 special election have agreed to the county's voluntary spending limit of $250,000 that allows them to accept a maximum of $500 from individuals leading up to the election, though vote-by-mail ballots will be sent out May 6.
The onslaught of independent expenditures which is expected to flood the campaigns of Alvarado, who is endorsed by the San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee and its allies, and Chavez, who is endorsed by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, which she previously headed, have yet to surface in a meaningful way, according to the registrar's website.
One committee, called the Community for Accountability Opposing Cindy Chavez for Supervisor 2013, filed a $1,000 donation.
Among the more notable donors to Alvarado, which included several water district employees and nonprofit employees, were former Supervisor Diane McKenna and her husband, Regis, who donated $500 each; Steve Wright, vice president of communications at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, who donated $250; Kim Walesh, San Jose's Director of Economic Development, who gave $250; and Santa Clara County Judge Teresa Daley, who gave $200. Alvarado also was helped by some of the same people who gave to her unsuccessful District 1 run for supervisor in 2010, including Bob Kieve, president of Empire Broadcasting, who gave $500, and Shirley Lewis, vice president of Old Republic Title Co. who gave $100. Developers Don Imwalle and Robert Emami each donated $500.
Chavez, meanwhile, picked up $500 donations each from the Santa Clara County Government Attorneys Association PAC, the Santa Clara County Probation Peace Officers Union PAC, the Deputy Sheriffs Association of Santa Clara County PAC, as well as $500 from developer Michael Van Every and real estate broker Georgie Huff who gave $250. Former SBLC labor leaders Amy Dean and Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins each contributed $500. U.S. Rep. Mike Honda donated $500, as did Assemblyman Paul Fong and former Assemblyman Manny Diaz.
Contact Tracy Seipel at 408 275-0140.
Teresa Alvarado: $66,936
Cindy Chavez: $63,598, including a $6,500 loan to herself
Patricia Martinez-Roach: $11,383, all but $100 loaned to herself
Source: Campaign finance reporting period of Jan. 1 to April 20