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January 19, 2021

Campaign funding heats up as November approaches

Blankley, Mitchell lead fundraising efforts in respective races

Marie Blankley’s fundraising in the Gilroy mayoral race outpaced her opponent Reid Lerner, records show.

According to finance data submitted to the Gilroy City Clerk’s Office, Blankley raised $26,153 between July 1 to Sept. 19. 

Lerner, meanwhile, raised $3,540 during the same time period, with $2,630 of that total loaned from his company to his election campaign, records show.

Blankley, who currently sits on the Gilroy City Council, received strong support from a trio of Christopher Ranch family members, according to the Form 460 document filed with the city, with Don, Karen and Bill Christopher each donating $750, the largest amount a Gilroy candidate can receive from a single donor. She also received a number of donations from retired Gilroy residents and various realtors and property managers, among other individuals.

In addition to the $26,153 raised, Blankley transferred the remaining $6,566.42 balance from her 2018 city council campaign into her mayoral committee.

During the time period of the report, Blankley spent $9,403.25. Her largest expenditure was $7,254.57 to Legacy Print of Santa Clara for campaign signs, flyers and mailers.

Lerner reported three contributions on his campaign financial statement: $500 from Joseph Gigantino Jr., the owner of San Jose-based Weights & Bars, $200 from the South County Democratic Club, and $200 from Erik Martin of Tunnel Electric.

Lerner’s company, Reid Lerner Architects, loaned $2,630 to his campaign on Aug. 13.

His two largest expenditures were $1,540 to Gilroy Web Design for website design, and $1,438 to Austin, Texas-based Signs on the Cheap for lawn signs.

Lerner also reported $100 in unitemized payments.

Council race finances

In the five-person race to fill three seats on the Gilroy City Council, candidate Danny Mitchell has raised the most funds, having garnered $24,570 since January. He loaned his campaign $2,000, which is included in the total raised.

Rebeca Armendariz, who has been fundraising since July 2019, has raised $19,994.40, finance documents show. Since May, Zach Hilton has raised $7,445.

Incumbents Carol Marques and Fred Tovar have received $15,204 and $6,725, respectively. Marques began fundraising in January, while Tovar’s earliest contribution is dated July 8.

Throughout his campaign, Mitchell has spent $10,106, with his largest expenditure of $2,665 going to Briana Monaco for website and poster designs.

With $6,743 spent, Armendariz’s largest expenditure was $1,087.50 to, while Hilton, who reported $4,956.20 in total expenditures, paid $2,064.80 to Sacramento-based Firefighters Print & Design for campaign paraphernalia, according to documents submitted to the city.

Marques has spent $8,405.55, with $6,572.60 of that total going to Santa Clara-based Legacy Print for mailers, lawn signs and postage.

Tovar, who loaned $1,400 to his campaign, spent $6,096.61. His largest expenditures were $2,380.40 to Gilroy-based One Life Prints for campaign signs, and $2,096 to Five Star Souls Designs of Riverside for website and logo designs.

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