Mountain View Voice

News - February 3, 2012

Simitian leads fundraising for supervisor race

by Gennady Sheyner

Joe Simitian's quest to retake his former seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is benefiting from a strong lead in cash raised, newly released campaign-finance documents show.

Simitian, a former Palo Alto mayor who is now in the final year of his term in the state Senate, has raised more than $96,000 as of the end of 2011, compared to about $55,000 raised by Kathleen King. Simitian and King were vying for the seat currently held by Liz Kniss, but King announced Tuesday that she is no longer in the race.

King told the Voice that she is suspending fundraising and withdrawing due to her son's medical condition. His health had been worsening, and he was just hospitalized for a week, she said. "I work full time, I have these issues going on (at home), it's just a little too much to run a major campaign at this time," King said.

Simitian's campaign funds came from a broad range of contributors, including local developers, businesses, labor unions, individual donors and other political campaigns. The campaign of Alan Lowenthal, Simitian's colleague in the state Senate, gave Simitian's campaign $500, as did the Senate campaigns of Juan Vargas and Kevin de Leon.

Former Palo Alto Mayor Gary Fazzino contributed another $500 to Simitian's campaign, while Councilwoman Nancy Shepherd gave $100.

Simitian also drew $500 contributions from various unions, including the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the California Nurses Association and the California Professional Firefighters. He also received $500 contributions from several major companies, including Applied Materials and Union Pacific Railroad.

Palo Alto developers also chipped in. Charles "Chop" Keenan and Roxy Rapp each donated $500, while Jim Baer gave Simitian's campaign $300.

Simitian also loaned $10,000 to his own campaign.

King, a former Saratoga mayor who now serves as executive director of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, drew much of her campaign cash from health-care professionals, businesses and residents in the central and southern parts of the county, including Saratoga, San Jose and Campbell.

She received $500 contributions from top executives at various Saratoga companies, including ME Fox and Co., PMG and Cirrus Logic. Michele Bolton, owner of Executive Edge Consulting in Campbell, contributed $500, as did the company's chief operating officer, Lloyd Bolton.

King also received $500 payments from Joanne Allen, president and CEO of Daughters of Charity Health Systems and the Children's Recovery Center. Nutritionist Nancy King contributed another $500, while Paul Taylor, chief executive officer of Momentum for Mental Health gave $100.

The campaign-finance documents also show Simitian outspending King by a two-to-one margin. He had spent $14,924 as of Dec. 31, compared to King's $7,471.

—Andrea Gemmet contributed to this report

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