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Sunnyvale 2020 - Campaign Finances

Mayor's Race

Michael Goldman (me) $30K: Funding comes from savings of my salary I get as a council member along with contributions from Sunnyvale residents.  Thanks to everyone for your support!

Nancy Smith $48K:  Clearly the big winner in the money department.  She also is the main choice of the "political machine" with far more money from former council members and those in the local Democratic Party "inner circle" than Larry Klein.


Larry Klein $72K:  The only one to get money from the "CA Real Estate PAC" - but nothing from any other PACs besides the SEA.

Some "insider" figures gave equally to Nancy Smith and Larry Klein - making sure they are friends with one of their favored mayoral candidates - for example, the SEA (Sunnyvale Employees Association) donated $3,000 to each.

However, many organizations pay for campaign mailers without it showing up in the candidate's financial statements.  They can do that as an "Independent Expenditure Committee" (IEC).  They are not allowed to coordinate with candidates.  For example, the first mailer supporting Larry Klein was paid for by the National Association of Realtors.  The $56,862 they spent on mailers and other promotions is part of "Total finances" below, noted as IEC.  No other candidate has an IEC spending money on their behalf - so far. 

Data for all as of 10/7/2020 including the IEC for Larry Klein's campaign is here: Excel Spreadsheet 10.7

IEC expenditures are in the last tab labeled "496".  (Format can be confusing - beware of double counting!)

Nancy Smith$48,119
Larry Klein: $71,787

Total finances: 

  1.   $3,850: Trade Union PACs +

  2.   $3,000: Sunnyvale Employees Assoc. +

  3.   $9,300: non-Sunnyvale individuals +

  4. $11,237: Sunnyvale individuals +

  5. $20,732: campaign self-loan

  6. Total = $48,119

Total finances: 

  1.   $2,500: CA Real Estate PAC +

  2.   $3,000: Sunnyvale Employees Assoc. +

  3.   $4,925: non-Sunnyvale residents +

  4.   $3,850Sunnyvale residents +

  5.      $650: campaign self-loan

  6. $56,862: IEC - National Assoc. of Realtors

  7. Total = $71,787

Michael Goldman: $29,796

Total finances: 

  1.   $4,003: Sunnyvale individuals +

  2.   $1,793: self +

  3. $24,000: campaign self-loan

  4. Total = $29,796

District Races:  Districts 2, 4, and 6 vote for council members this year.

District map: bottom of page.

District 2

Josh Grossman $7K: is the David against Goliath here - mostly self-funded with a lot of small local contributions.  The "political machine" tried to get him to drop out but he sees himself as representing the average family trying to get by in tough times.  The Sunnyvale Public Safety Officers' Association endorsed Josh Grossman.  I would vote for him if I were in his district.

Alysa Cisneros $20K:  a large amount (and growing) for just one of six districts.  That would be equivalent to $120K in a city-wide race (multiply by six).  Ms. Cisneros formerly worked for "Silicon Valley Leadership Group" which represents big employers in Silicon Valley.  

Like Nancy Smith, she is the choice of the "political machine" with money from many former and current council members, those in the local Democratic Party "inner circle", out of town politicians (like assemblymembers Evan Low and Lorena Gonzalez), and the Sunnyvale Employees Association.

Alysa advocates for more duplexes and 4-plexes in single-family zoned neighborhoods as seen in this Forum Video where the other two candidates for District 2 took different approaches.  Construction unions support her.  She is endorsed by South Bay YIMBY

She appears to be in favor of "defund the police" as seen in another part of the same candidate forum.

Hina Siddiqui $7K: Ms. Siddiqui is the novice.  Everyone seems to like her on a personal basis.  In the Forum Ms. Siddiqui advocated more work-from-home to spread housing demand around the area and keep Sunnyvale affordable to everyone.

(Full CAIR forum here: )

Alysa Cisneros$20,327

Total contributions: 

  1. $2,500: Trade Union PACs +

  2. $1,000: Sunnyvale Employees Association +

  3. $9,384: non-Sunnyvale individuals +

  4. $7,227: Sunnyvale individuals +

  5. $216: campaign self-loan

  6. Total = $20,327

Josh Grossman$6,890
Hina Siddiqui$7,410

Total contributions: 

  1. $500: non-Sunnyvale individuals +

  2. $2,830: Sunnyvale individuals +

  3. $3,560: campaign self-loan

  4. Total = $6,890

Total contributions: 

  1. $100: Sunnyvale individuals +

  2. $7,310: campaign self-loan

  3. Total = $7,410

District 6

"League of Women Voters" forum video for District 6 is up now: District 6 LWV Forum

One big issue of "rent stabilization" for mobile home parks is probably a key factor for many in the district.

Leia Mehlman $5K:  the role of "David" vs Omar Din's "Goliath" funding.  She is active in the biking community stressing the environment.  She lives in a mobile home - a major residential option in the area.  She seems to favor rent stabilization.

Omar Din $43K:  a large amount of campaign money for such a small (10,000 voter) district.  His $43K is equivalent (X6) to $250,000 on a city-wide campaign.  Most of his funding comes from ordinary people around the country.  He seems to have a large group of friends.  Over half comes from out of town, with a fair bit of that from outside the state.

Some of his money comes from local business interests and the Sunnyvale Employees Association.  He favors development of his district bordering SF Bay.

Both Ms. Mehlman and Mr. Din are endorsed by South Bay YIMBY  which has a brief summary of their views.

Charlotte Thornton $?: She is a bit unknown - maybe that's an advantage.  Participated in the CAIR candidate Forum with responses that seemed to resonate with some people.

"The League of Women Voters" had a candidate forum which Ms. Mehlman and Mr. Din attended.  Link to it here:

Omar Din$42,566

Total contributions: 

  1.   $8,750: PACs and Businesses +

  2.   $1,000: Sunnyvale Employees Assoc. +

  3. $27,765: non-Sunnyvale individuals +

  4.   $4,801: Sunnyvale individuals

  5.      $250: Loan

  6. Total = $42,566

Leia Mehlman$5,477

Total contributions: 

  1. $2,718: non-Sunnyvale individuals +

  2. $2,259: Sunnyvale individuals +

  3.    $500: campaign self-loan

  4. Total = $5,477

Charlotte Thornton$N/A

Total contributions: 

  1. Nothing reported

District 4

Councilmember Russ Melton $15K:  This is more money than most district candidates (still much less than Ms. Cisneros or Mr. Din)  which is partly explained by his initially running for mayor before deciding to run to represent his district.

Russ Melton and I were the only two to vote against a proposed encroachment on the Heritage Orchard Park.

He and I successfully fought to let Sunnyvale's minimum wage go up as scheduled rather than delaying it as most on the council originally proposed.

Last year when several Peterson Middle School children were hit crossing at an intersection Councilmember Melton was very pro-active in quickly meeting with the parents and school leadership.  He early-on invited me to these meetings, and I was happy to join the effort to resolve things quickly.  He and I were also the only two to vote for more budget for school crossing guards and related items.  I hope we can work together on school safety in the future.

Councilmember Melton has been responsive to his community and has the support of many of my friends.

There are some important issues we (respectfully) disagree on but when we disagree he does so in a congenial way and we continue to work together on other issues.  If I were in his district, I would vote for him.

Paul Lesevic-Campos $?: He seems to be running to make a point but I'm not sure what the point is.  As far as I know he doesn't show up at any of the many, many candidate forums.

Russ Melton: $14,700

Total contributions: 

  1. $9,500: Unions, PACs and Businesses +

  2. $1,000: Sunnyvale Employees Association +

  3. $1,000: non-Sunnyvale individuals +

  4. $3,200: Sunnyvale individuals

  5. $250: Loan

  6. Total = $14,700

Paul Lesevic-Campos: $N/A

Total contributions: 

  1. Nothing reported

Sunnyvale Districts
Districts 2, 4, & 6 Vote for Councilmember this Year
Districts Map Numbered.jpg
Notes on Campaign Funding

PAC = Political Action Committee - usually the political arm of a union or business association.  They have a clear motivation for donating.

IEC = Independent Expenditure Committee.  These groups support a candidate independently of the candidate's campaign.  They are not allowed to coordinate with candidates.  For example, the first mailer supporting Larry Klein was paid for by the National Association of Realtors.

Reports updates frequently so numbers here are approximate.


The California Fair Political Practices Commission requires candidates who receive or spend $2,000 or more to report what money they receive, from whom, and what they spend it on. 

The reports have certain deadlines depending on how much money is involved, and how close to the election it is.

Any financing report like this so close to the last day to vote will be out of date pretty fast.  Numbers will be approximate as new contributions are reported on a frequent basis.

The data is available (with some work) at:

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