Time for a look at Oakland politics. The news today is that Jennifer Pae, candidate for Oakland City Council in District 2, out raised the incumbent, Patricia Kerninghan. Reports from the City Clerks office showed that Jen raised over $36,000 while Pat only raised a little over $20,000.
[Clarification by Oakbook: Jen out raised Pat this period only. Updated quote below.]
The biggest surprise in the money contest was the $36,638 Jennifer Pae raised in the most recent quarter for her bid to unseat Patricia Kernighan, the representative for District 2, who reported contributions totaling $20,393 in the same period. In this election cycle, Kernighan has raised a total of $47,000. Both candidates have accepted the city’s voluntary contribution limit and expenditure ceiling, which means that they will be allowed to spend around $107,000 each between now and Election Day.
Read more at The Oakbook
In addition, according to Clerk records, Jen has more cash on hand with $34,656.88 to Pat’s $34,286.40.
The interesting question is two-fold. First, note that while the difference between candidates is less than $400, Pat is raising less per quarter on average compared to Jen (given Jen began her campaign after Pat). Also, Pat seems to have spent more money but appears to be yielding less on returns.
Two, it would be interesting to know what are the dollar amount of these donations. As a former delegate to the DNC Convention in Denver for the Obama campaign in 2008, I’m curious to see if Jen has taken a page from the Obama playbook and is raking in the low-dollar donations; donations around $5-25 (I was a delegate for Hillary in 2008). If this is the case, I think Jen has shown she has a great amount of community support in her district with families and individuals who want to be apart of her campaign and are donating what they can, especially in this economy. If Pat is only brining in high dollar donations from establishment figures, then the story to come out from these numbers is that Jen Pae is definitely the community candidate. This is a number that Pat Kerninghan should be concerned about.