Fundraising margins continue to widen between mayoral candidates Laurie Capitelli, Jesse Arreguin

Heyun Jeong/Staff

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Berkeley mayoral candidate Laurie Capitelli’s cumulative campaign fundraising has now reached about $104,000 in total monetary contributions compared to contributions to fellow candidate Jesse Arreguín of about $70,000, according to campaign finance disclosures.

During the period from Jul. 1 to Sept. 24, Arreguín raised about $19,500 while Capitelli raised $31,300. Candidate Kriss Worthington raised $5,800 during this period, which was the next-largest amount.

“(Capitelli) was always going to outspend me,” Arreguín said. “When you are the big developer, big business candidate, raising money comes easy.”

Arreguín said his own campaign had fundraised “incredibly well” with more than 500 donors including labor unions.

Capitelli has received donations from the Northern California Sheet Metal Workers’ Union and local businesses including the owner of Sam’s Market, according to the campaign filings.

“Money does play a role (but) I don’t think it will in this case,” Capitelli said. “It’s not like one candidate has two or three times as much money as another candidate.”

Campaign contributions pay for phone banks, stamps, printed mailings, lawn signs, newspaper advertisements, office costs and salaries for campaign workers, according to the disclosures. A recent mailing sent by his campaign cost $19,000, Capitelli said.

To date, Capitelli has raised about $34,000 more than Arreguín. Capitelli cited his community connections as part of the reason for his fundraising success.

“I’ve lived in the community for 50 years and I’ve worked … with the community on a variety of projects, not necessarily political,” Capitelli said.

Candidate Ben Gould, who is a UC Berkeley graduate student, raised about $2,600 between Jul. 1 and Sept. 24. He said his campaign has been an uphill battle compared to those of candidates with larger networks, but said his campaign is “more efficient.”

“I don’t have significant overhead, I don’t have staff, I don’t have an office space, I’m not doing lawn signs,” Gould said. “I have less money, but all of it is going directly toward high-impact voter targeting, rather than the trappings of a campaign.”

Gould said in the previous period, January to June 2016, he raised more money in donations less than $50 than any other candidate did even though he lacked support from “the Berkeley establishment.”

Gould mentioned that Measure X1 — a proposed public campaign financing ballot measure that would create a city fund to match $6 for every $1 raised by Berkeley candidates for public office in donations of $50 or less — is intended to level the playing field for candidates of different backgrounds.

Candidate Naomi Pete reported raising $85 since July. Candidates Zachary RunningWolf, Bernt Wahl, Stephen Fligo and Guy “Mike” Lee did not file any contributions for this period.

Contact Lillian Holmes at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LillianQHolmes.