By KENDRA SITTON | Uptown News
The race between four Democrats vying to replace Chris Ward on the City Council is closer than initial fundraising numbers released on Thursday appear to show. While Stephen Whitburn, who has been endorsed by many local political groups, reported $60,000 in contributions to his campaign, a significant portion of that was his own money. Based on these numbers, he has a significant lead over his three opponents, two of which are first-time candidates. However, the range between Whitburn and all his other opponents drops to less than $10,000 once his own contributions as well as donations to the general election are subtracted. By looking at those numbers, he still leads with $37,015. Behind him is Adrian Kwiatkowski at $32,470. Closely following Kwiatkowski is Chris Olsen with $31,123. Olsen is running a YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard) campaign and has taken strong positions regarding increasing density as well as adding bike lanes. Toni Duran trails with $27,954. The only woman in the race, she was also the only candidate not to donate towards her own campaign. While she has the least amount of money to campaign with, she is backed by powerful politicians like Representative Scott Peters and Calif. Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. These financial disclosures reveal the race is far from over and anyone could win come March.
– Kendra Sitton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.