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Jackie Fielder Blows Away Scott Wiener in Grassroots Support for D11 Senate Race

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By Ian Firstenberg

In the race for California Senate District 11, challenger Jackie Fielder beat out incumbent Scott Wiener in small dollar local donations during the pandemic months, highlighting the candidate’s grassroots support. 

According to recent finance reports, Fielder collected roughly $215,000 between February and June, compared to Wiener’s $265,000 over the same period. Despite Wiener bringing in $50,000 more than his challenger, some specific numbers lend insight into where each candidate’s financial backing comes from. 

Wiener had 426 itemized donors compared to Fielder’s 602. His unitemized or small donors accounted for under $8,000 of his $265,000 while Fielder’s small donors accounted for $36,000. Of Fielder’s 1,800 unique donors, 1,200 donated under $100, indicating that her support largely comes from working people and not big money donors. 

The geographic makeup of each candidates’ donors tells a similar story. Echoing the financing conclusions above, more than 900 donations were made to Fielder’s campaign from District 11 residents, whereas Wiener received just 250 contributions from residents in the same district, which the Senate seat represents. 

An independent review of Senator Wiener’s filings by SFBay revealed that TMG Partners, a large real estate development company donated $4,700 to Wiener’s campaign, as did Patrick Kennedy the owner of Panoramic Interests — another Bay Area real estate giant. William Witte, CEO of Related California, also chipped in with $4,700. Luke Miner of Audioshake donated $4,700 twice, as did Ruchi Agarwal, partner at South Park Commons. Other notable contributors include Amazon for at least $2,000, Lyft for at least $700 and United Airlines for at least $2000. Finally, Gayle Conway, spouse of “super angel” investor Ron Conway, kicked in two contributions of $4,700 each. 

Senator Wiener did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. 

When reached for comment about her contributors and the nature of fundraising during the pandemic, Fielder noted that working people are her crucial base of support that she believes can carry her to victory in the fall. 

She said:

“Our support from essential workers, teachers and unemployed people demonstrates that people desperately want fundamental changes to our economic system. Single payer healthcare, a California Housing Emergency Fund, public school investments and strong worker protections are more a matter of life and death than they were before.”

 

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