Leone Leads in Campaign Cash

Although the field for the November City Council race was just finalized last week – the fundraising (for serious candidates) began earlier this year.  (Some would say the fundraising never stops.)

Only four of the 7 challengers to the three incumbents had established a campaign finance committee for reporting purposes as of June 30.  See Lisa P. White’s article on the field of candidates entitled “Concord: Seven challengers seek to unseat three incumbents.”

A quick look at the campaign finance statements as of the required June 30 filing shows Vice-Mayor Ron Leone leading this year’s pack of candidates with a cash-on-hand (COH) of $68,043.  His outstanding debts, which are loans he made to his committee in 2010, total $19,989.

Brent Trublood, a first time candidate, shows a balance of $22,957 with $21,629 being a loan he made to his committee.

Mayor Tim Grayson reports a balance of $18,963 with a 2010 campaign debt to a local graphic designer of $6,238.

Councilmember and Former Mayor Laura Hoffmeister reports a balance of $7,936 and a debt consisting of loans she made to her committee from her 4 previous campaigns of $34,958.

Dr. Harmesh Kumar, who has previously run for City Council, shows a balance of $1,947 and a debt of personal loans to his committee totaling $74,442.

Another challenger, Vernon Kurpieski, reported a balance of $35.33 after personally loaning his committee $2,400.

Terry Kremins, who has also previously run for City City Council, reported no fundraising in the January to June 30, 2014 period.

Now those reports were as of six weeks ago – one presumes serious candidates have been actively fundraising since.  The next campaign finance statement is due in September.

Interesting noteCouncilmember Edi Birsan has already shifted his campaign committee to 2016 and shows a balance of $1,372 with a debt consisting of loans he made to his committee from his two previous runs for Council of $84,246.

Disclosure:  I also made loans to my campaign committees when I ran for City Council – but never in the magnitude that current candidates are routinely doing.  Perhaps they feel a certain independence in self-funding their campaigns?  Or are they having trouble getting donations?  We all want “big” money out of elections – but how much have you contributed towards political campaigns this year…or ever?

Question:  Assuming you wanted to serve on the City Council and knew a credible campaign could cost as much as $50,000 (given postage, signs, etc.) – How much of your own money would you contribute to your own campaign?

I’m a former Mayor, City Council member and Planning Commissioner who has lived in the City of Concord since 1989. I have a BA in Government from CSU Sacramento. My entire career has been spent explaining business realities to public officials and political realities to business leaders.

  • EdiBirsan

    Vernon is not running. the other three are Foster, Lynch and Hogoboom all of which I believe had -0- as of their filing date. As for your question… well I have already in fact answered it. If we were to go to three city districts of about 18K voters each then the cost of running would be greatly reduced because the winning percentage needed could be reached on foot by door to door determination. With the current at large system and 56,000 voters and social media well lagging in impact on local elections, the dollars needed to run a mail campaign is too large.