The Silicon Valley Voice

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Following the Santa Clara 2018 Campaign Money

With the first campaign financial reports in, Mayor candidate Lisa Gillmor leads with a campaign treasury of $16,955. Second is City Council candidate Nancy Biagini with $14,220. City Clerk candidate Hosam Haggag is next with $12,412, and City Council candidate Raj Chahal is close behind at $12,247. All other candidates currently have $5,100 or less.


Mayor: Out-of-Town and Real Estate Industry Money Backs Gillmor

With a total of $15,955 in donations, Gillmor has raised almost all of it (70 percent) from real estate- and construction-related businesses and individuals in those businesses. Gillmor operates Gillmor Real Estate in the Franklin Mall, which owns a significant amount of Santa Clara real estate. Gillmor loaned $1,000 to her campaign to bring the total war chest thus far up to $16,955.


More than two thirds of Gillmor’s donations come from outside Santa Clara — some as far away as Sacramento and Tustin. The average Gillmor donation is $456, with the most common donation being $550 (18).

Comprising 42 percent of Gillmor’s donors, are construction companies, developers and property management businesses. Another 28 percent of Gillmor’s donors are individuals in those businesses or other real estate-related businesses such as insurance and capital investment.

There are also two lobbyists on Gillmor’s donor list: Ash Pirayou and Jim Cunneen.

Pirayou represents Core Affordable (the company developing the 900 Winchester agrihood) and Westfield (Valley Fair’s owner). He met with Gillmor in March about “city issues.” Pirayou was also treasurer for former San José Mayor Ron Gonzales’ mayoral campaign.

Pirayou’s wife Bianca is an election law attorney closely tied to local labor politics who provides “law services” for the Santa Clara police union and firefighters union PACs.

Cunneen lobbies for Irvine, a major developer and property management company in California as well as in Santa Clara. Cunneen is also the President of Silicon Valley Organization, which has been meeting with Gillmor according to her public calendar.

Gillmor’ donor list also includes football legend Joe Montana’s attorney, Robert Mezzetti, and Santa Clara City Firefighters Local 1171 former president Steve Silva.


Mayor: Becker Leads With Grassroots Santa Clara Donors 

Gillmor challenger Anthony Becker has received more donations from Santa Clara residents ($4,795) than Gillmor ($2,565).

Altogether Becker has raised $5,073 from 18 donors, all but one from individuals and all but two from Santa Clara. The average Becker donation is $267, with the most common donation being $100 (6). Becker’s donors include Santa Clara Council Member Patricia Mahan.

The only organization donating to Becker’s campaign is educational services non-profit Dream Santa Clara.


Council District 2: Kumar Lends Himself $5,000

Because she has raised less than $2,000, Karen Hardy hasn’t filed an FPPC 460 financial report.

Her opponent, Sam Kumar has loaned his campaign $5,000 and doesn’t report spending any of it yet.


Council District 3: Biagini Has Bigger War Chest, Chahal Has Greater Resident Support

Nancy Biagini takes the win in the District 3 money race with $14,220 in the bank — $8,720 in donations and a $5,500 loan to herself. The majority (73 percent) of Biagini’s 30 donors are outside Santa Clara, with only $1,600 (18 percent) coming from City residents. Biagini’s average donation is $291, and the most common donation is $100 (12).

Biagini has one donation from an organization: a $500 donation from the IBEW Local 332. She also has donations from three sitting Santa Clara City Council Members — Patrick Kolstad, Debi Davis and Mayor Gillmor.

Raj Chahal comes in fourth in the campaign money race with $12,247, with about half his treasury coming from donations ($6,157) and the balance from a loan to himself ($6,500).  But he’s ahead in District 3 when it comes to Santa Clara donors, with $4,707 from residents.

All of Chahal’s 23 donors are individuals. The average Chahal donation is $268, and the most common donation is $100 (12). The vast majority (80 percent) of Chahal’s donors are Santa Clara residents and 75 percent of his funds come from Santa Clarans.  He also has a donation from Council Member Mahan.

Mario Bouza has $900 in donations, coming from three donors, all Santa Clara residents.


City Clerk: Haggag Leads in Money-Raising

Hosam Haggag leads money race for City Clerk with $12,412 in the bank, $8,011 of which is donations from individuals, and the rest ($4,401) as a loan to himself.

Haggag‘s 55 donors are split evenly between Santa Clara residents (28) and out of town donors (27). Haggag’s average donation is $145.56, and the most common donation is $100 (19).

Mayor Gillmor and Vice Mayor Kathy Watanabe donated to Haggag, as did Santa Clara Youth Soccer League President Gabe Foo, who is also Gillmor’s campaign consultant.

Peta Roberts loaned her campaign $1,600 and has to date received no donations. Robert O’Keefe has received $1,330 from two Santa Clara donors and himself.

City Clerk candidates Thomas MacDevitt and Christopher Stampolis didn’t file financial reports. Because he has raised less than $2,000 MacDevitt hasn’t filed an FPPC 460 financial report. The Christopher Stampolis for Mayor committee filed an FPPC 460 form in September showing $0. The committee has existed since 2010. 


Financial reports for City candidates can be found on the City website.


Correction: Candidates spending less than $2,000 are not required to file a separate financial form, the FPPC Form 460. Hardy and MacDevitt both have less than $2,000 to report. Additionally, a previous version of the article misspelled MacDevitt’s name as McDevitt. The article has been updated to reflect these changes and has also been updated to include additional information on Stampolis‘s campaign. Lastly, Hosam Haggag’s average donation amount incorrectly included his own loan to his campaign. We have updated the number to exclude the loan.


  1. Thomas MacDevitt 6 years ago

    I just want to send in a correction, my last name is spelled MacDevitt. I also did file a financial report for my campaign, but because I plan in soending less than $2k, I used form 470 rather than the 460 form which my opponents used.

    • Admin 6 years ago

      Thomas, We sent an email to every City Clerk and Council candidates on September 14th. We sent it to your yahoo account. If you have any questions, please let me know. Please see the updated post above. Thank you for pointing out the corrections.
      Thank you
      Angie Tolliver

  2. Hosam Haggag 6 years ago

    Hi Angie.

    Another correction: my average donation is $145. As is mentioned in the article, my total donation was $8,011 and the number of donors was 55 – which makes the average donation $145.56. I’m really proud of broad individual donor support I have and as Carolyn rightly pointed out my most common (and also median) donation is $100. I was very deliberate in my 460 forms to show every donation, even the ones that were under $100 even though they are not required to be individually reported.

    Also, it appears that your emails have been going to my spam folder. I’d like to respond to your candidate questionnaire as well if possible as Thomas has recently done.

    • Admin 6 years ago

      Hi Hosam,
      You notified us on September 23rd that the email we sent you and the other City Clerk Candidates had gone to your spam folder. You asked if we would allow you to submit your response. I replied with “of course” and asked if you would please submit your responses. Feel free to send them by 5 pm October 18. Regarding Thomas late response, we had an incorrect email address for him and he did not receive our original email.

      The average donation amount we reported in this article incorrectly included the loan from yourself. We have made that correction.

      Thank you
      Angie Tolliver

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