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Campaign finance reports reveal top donors to mayor, council candidates

Groups backing Nop, Barrientos and Wahrer shell out hundreds of thousands
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As Election Day draws near, candidates for Livermore mayor and City Council continue to rake in contributions from supporters, including their friends, neighbors, political action committees, unions and other notable figures.

In the most recently reported Fair Political Practices Commission 460 filings for the period of Sept. 25 to Oct. 22, mayoral candidate John Marchand pulled in a total of $24,370 in monetary contributions directly to his campaign and his opponent Mony Nop received $7,660.88.

Their respective year-to-date monetary contributions totaled $70,026.08 for Nop and $58,249 for Marchand.

Nop has also received a total of $6,845 in non-monetary contributions. Marchand has received none.

In addition to the contributions directly to Nop's campaign, significantly higher amounts have gone toward groups supporting his second mayoral run, including Take Back Livermore and Friends Supporting Mony Nop for Mayor.

Save Livermore Downtown spokesperson Jean King, The Independent newspaper publisher Joan Seppala and her husband Lynn Seppala have each contributed $49,500 to Take Back Livermore, which supports Nop and opposes Marchand for mayor.

The group also supports City Council candidates Ben Barrientos (District 2) and Carol Wahrer (District 1) and opposes their challengers Mel Chiong (District 2) and Evan Branning (District 1).

Take Back Livermore recently received $20,000 from Christopher O'Brien, the CEO of Livermore-based logistics company, Brock Transportation and the spokesperson for Save North Livermore Valley – another Livermore citizen group which advocates to "safeguard the valley’s scenic beauty and open space from destruction by commercial power companies," according to the group's website.

Additionally, a whopping $150,000 to the Friends Supporting Mony Nop group was contributed by Lyna Lam of San Francisco. According to the A Khmer Buddhist Foundation website, Lam is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit which focuses on "advancing the lives of the Khmer people," a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Cambodia.

Lam's husband, Chris Larsen, also contributed $4,900 directly to Nop's campaign. Larson is the executive chairman and co-founder of Ripple, a San Francisco-based blockchain company.

Outside of those substantial donations, Nop received a number of small contributions spread out over time from individual supporters and local figures including a total of $1,250 from Livermore resident and physicist Thomas Ramos as well as $1,000 from Rusty Skinner, owner of Hop DeVine restaurant.

Much of Marchand's contributions throughout this campaign season have come from individuals in small amounts ranging from $10 to $1,000, including $500 from current Livermore Vice Mayor Gina Bonanno, $1,000 from outgoing Mayor Bob Woerner's 2020 leftover campaign funds and another $1,000 from Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert's 2024 campaign.

The Associated Builders and Contractors trade association – which is based in Livermore – also contributed $1,000 to Marchand's campaign.

Several larger donations have also rolled in for Marchand, including $2,000 from Wente Land & Cattle Co. and $4,500 from Danville resident Nicole Foley who is an administrative assistant at Livermore-based flight school Attitude Aviation, Inc. Self-employed contractor Daniel Nigg of Livermore has contributed a total of $2,700.

Christine Korkos, a retired Diablo resident, contributed $4,900. Another $4,900 came from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee. The Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 104 Political Committee contributed $2,500.

Other union groups have contributed to Marchand's campaign as well, such as the UA Local 342 Plumbers & Pipefitters P.A.C. Fund ($2,500), Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local No. 3 PAC ($300), Sprinkler Fitters & Apprentices Local 483 Local PAC ($1,000) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 595 PAC ($1,500), among others.

The most recent 460 flings for District 1 council candidates Branning and Wahrer also cover the period from Sept. 25 to Oct. 22. Branning's total contributions for that period add up to $11,870 while Wahrer's totals $1,970.

The year-to-date total for Branning is listed as $32,808.44 while Wahrer's is $6,396.

Branning has also received a total value of $208 in non-monetary contributions and Wahrer has received $223.03 in non-monetary contributions.

Branning's top donors for the filing period include $4,900 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee and $4,000 from Fallon Enterprises, Inc.

He also received several smaller donations ranging from $25 to $500, including $270 from outgoing City Councilmember Trish Munro and $250 from State Sen. Steve Glazer.

A contribution of $1,000 rolled in for Branning from the Livermore Pleasanton Firefighter Local 1974-PAC.

Wahrer appears to have been running a financially lean campaign. Her contributions during this period were mostly small amounts from several residents.

The largest was $800 from Ayn Wieskamp, who lives in Livermore and is an outgoing member of the East Bay Regional Park District board representing Ward 5 which includes Pleasanton, Livermore, Sunol and southern Dublin. Prior to this filing period, Wahrer's campaign also previously received $1,500 from King and a $500 contribution from Nop.

Her largest reported contribution overall was $4,900 on Sept. 12 from John O'Rourke who is an engineer at a San Jose-based company called TruSophix, Inc., according to campaign filings. However, the document shows a minus -$4,900 listing for the same donor on Sept. 23.

Like Wahrer, District 2 candidate Barrientos also seems to be running a tightly budgeted campaign with his contributions totaling $2,082.67 for Sept. 25 to Oct. 22 and his year-to-date total at $6,439.47.

His contributions this filing period were mostly between $50 to $200 with one $300 donation from Ralph Moir, a retired Livermore resident – who also contributed the same amount to Wahrer – and $500 from Nop.

Barrientos' campaign received $94 from King during this filing period, making for a cumulative total of $1,594 from her.

The Take Back Livermore funds, however, benefit both Wahrer's and Barrientos' campaigns as well as Nop's.

District 2 candidate Mel Chiong received $8,503.15 from Sept. 25 to Oct. 22 with a year-to-date total of $24,795.61, which includes both monetary contributions and loans borrowed from her own personal finances.

Like Branning, Chiong received $4,900 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee. She also received $1,000 from UA Union Local 342 Steamfitters and another $1,000 from Sheet Metal Workers Union Local 104 Political Committee.

The remainder of her contributions this reporting period came in the form of smaller amounts ranging from around $50 to $200, including $280.69 from Munro.

Campaign finance documents for each candidate are available to view here.




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Cierra Bailey

About the Author: Cierra Bailey

Cierra started as an editorial intern with the Pleasanton Weekly in 2014. After pursuing opportunities in digital and broadcast media and attending graduate school at Syracuse University, she’s back as the editor of the Vine.
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