CONCORD -- The lone incumbent in a crowded Concord City Council race has a huge campaign fundraising lead, with backing from the family who operates the city's trash disposal and contributions from business owners, unions and a prominent developer.
Dan Helix has raised $72,599 since Aug. 1, putting him more than $50,000 ahead of the second place fundraiser in the race of 11 candidates vying for two seats on Nov. 6.
The fundraising totals were released Friday and are from a reporting period beginning July 1 and ending Sept. 30.
"It's from having friends of many years. I'm just overwhelmed and humbled by the amount I've been able to raise," said Helix, who was first on the council in 1968 and returned in 2010, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy.
Most prominent on the list of donors is the Garaventa family and their employees, who operate Concord Disposal Service, the company that has historically provided garbage services for Concord and currently has a long-term franchise agreement with the city.
They have donated $7,600 to Helix. Local developers Tom Seeno and Albert Seeno Jr. each contributed $1,000 to Helix, according to finance reports.
Most of Helix's big donations came from two fundraising events that were $1,000 and $500 to attend respectively, he said.
The retired Army general said he has been friends with the Garaventas for 50 years and has voted against Seeno proposals, including in April 2011
"I'm not for sale. Your support indicates you believe I could do a good job, but you're not buying me," he said of his donors. "I think the record is clear."
Housewives, restaurant owners, auto body shop owners, insurance agents and commercial real estate brokers are also among Helix's donors. Any leftover campaign money will be donated to local food banks, homeless outreach groups and organizations along the Monument Corridor, Helix said.
Planning Commissioner Tim McGallian was second in fundraising, raising $15,055 this reporting period for a total of $20,505. His donors included the Garaventas, who contributed $4,000; former Councilman Guy Bjerke, who chipped in $250; and Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson, who donated $100.
The Concord Police Officer Association, which has endorsed Helix and McGallian, gave each candidate $1,500.
To date, Carol Longshore has raised $7,050, Ed Birsan $6,353, Terry Kremin $775, Alany Helmantoler $300 and Harmesh Kumar $100. Suzanne Davis-Lucey reported no contributions. The City Clerk's office did not receive financial reports from Robert David Camacho and Marnie Sheehan-Carter.
Birsan and Kumar are running largely self-financed campaigns, having loaned themselves to date $68,941 and $38,353, respectively. A portion of the loans are a carry-over from previous campaigns, Birsan and Kumar each said.
David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048.