By Robert Haugh
Big Winner – Lisa Gillmor
Gillmor was re-elected as Mayor. Her campaign raised and spent less than $25,000. The 49ers independent expenditure campaign spent at least $2.5 million. Wow.
After you add up the independent expenditures, Gillmor’s side was outspent 8-1 and still won. And that total doesn’t include the money spent against her by a group called Santa Clara Now that 49ers CEO Jed York created earlier this year.
Big Losers (Tie) – Anthony Becker, Jed York and Rahul Chandhok
Becker had more money behind him than any candidate in Santa Clara history – and lost. During the campaign, Becker was exposed for being a hothead and being bad with money. That’s going to hurt him in the future. One other “minor” thing – the Grand Jury report says he’s sold out Santa Clara and may have broken laws.
York spent a lot of money and lost. And York lost ugly. The 49ers’ political tactics have been negative for years. This year they got the light turned on them by the Civil Grand Jury, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a prominent ethicist. York and company hurt their reputations in Santa Clara, in the Bay Area, and nationally.
Chandhok is York’s political point person and henchman. He’s been a negative force for years. But he may have gone too far this year with his personal attacks on the Grand Jury and attempts at grand juror intimidation.
Other Winners (Mixed Results) – Raj Chahal, Karen Hardy, Santa Clara Police Officers Association, Santa Clara Firefighters, and The Related Companies
Chahal and Hardy won but they needed almost $1 million each from the 49ers. And they were named in the Grand Jury report for selling out the Mission City. They also have at least one pending investigation against them for taking free passes from the 49ers.
The public safety unions endorsed and spent money to re-elect Gillmor, a big win. But they lost in the Council races. They’re still considered the best political endorsements in the City.
Stephen Ross owns The Related Companies and the Miami Dolphins. Related spent $250,000 on positive ads for Gillmor. But York decided to attack Ross’ personal contributions to Donald Trump with negative campaign ads. York attacking another NFL team owner made national sports news and not in a good way. The seating chart at the next NFL meeting should be interesting.
Other Losers (Mixed Results) – Larry McColloch, Christian Pellecchia
The two first-time candidates lost big, but were outspent big. But they both proved to be solid candidates and got some name ID if they want to run again – or if there’s a recall. Stay tuned.