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Biden, Schiff get biggest cash hauls from local donors

Tiburon and Belvedere residents donated more than a quarter-million dollars directly to U.S. Senate and presidential candidates in the run-up to Super Tuesday, in which California joined 15 other states on March 5 for the cycle’s biggest primary election.

 

Between Jan. 1, 2023, and Feb. 29, 2024, residents of the 94920 ZIP code gave the lion’s share of cash to Democrats, with President Joe Biden raking in $118,469 — nearly 75% of the roughly $160,000 given locally to presidential candidates, according to Federal Election Commission data.

 


Nine residents gave $6,600 to Biden — or the maximum of $3,300 each to primary and general-election campaigns — with three donating $3,300 or more and 23 donors sending at least $1,000.

 

About half of registered voters in Tiburon and Belvedere are Democrats, but in an area where “no party preference” voters slightly outnumber registered Republicans, independent candidate and environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was in a distant second, with just over $17,301 in donations.

 

Kennedy, who has generated controversy for his disproven anti-vaccination stances, has risen in popularity, garnering 15% support in a Dec. 14-Feb. 22 aggregate poll by RealClearPolling compared to 35.5% for Biden and 39.8% for former Republican President Donald Trump.

 

But locally, it’s former South Carolina governor and U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley who led in campaign donations for Republicans, receiving just over $14,901. Haley has been Trump’s only serious challenger but just won her first primary, in Washington, D.C., on March 3. She had vowed to stay in the race through at least Super Tuesday.

 

Polls closed after The Ark’s press deadline.

 


Trump, the likely Republican nominee, raised just over $9,199 from peninsula donors. He and Biden are in a statistical tie in every major head-to-head poll for the general election, where Trump has a plus-2 lead in a Fox News poll of March 2, a plus-4 in a New York Times/Siena poll released a day earlier and a dead heat in an Economist/YouGov poll of Feb. 27.

 

Trump also earned a unanimous victory from the U.S. Supreme Court on March 4, as the panel ruled that states don’t have the power to disqualify him from ballots for insurrection under the 14th Amendment. Rather, they say, only Congress has the power to enforce disqualification from federal office.

 

Contributions from local public officials to presidential candidates include Belvedere City Councilmember Nancy Kemnitzer giving $1,000 to Biden and Tiburon Heritage and Arts Commissioner Azita Mujica-Beavers donating $80 to Haley.

 

Despite California’s first wide-open U.S. Senate race in more than 30 years, residents gave less to all five candidates combined, at about $114,000, than they did to Biden alone.

 

California’s top-two open primary is sending the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the November general election for a run-off. There were two races on the ballot for the same seat — one vote to pick who will finish the interim term of appointed Democratic U.S. Sen. Laphonza Butler, which expires Jan. 3, and another for the full six-year term that starts the same day.

 

Recent polls by the Public Policy Institute of California, The Hill/Emerson and the Los Angeles Times/Berkeley IGS all showed U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, and Republican challenger Steve Garvey, a former baseball player, as the candidates likely advancing to November.

 

Garvey has little chance in the Democratic stronghold, which Schiff was counting on as he elevated Garvey’s profile by framing the race between the two men, ignoring progressive candidates U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine. Had Lee or Porter been able to consolidate the vote for a second-place finish, the November run-off may have gone down to the wire.

 

Schiff, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, led the peninsula in dollars raised by local voters at $82,319, or just over 72% of all money from 94920.

 

One resident donated the $9,900 maximum — $3,300 each for the primary, special and general elections — while four donated $6,600 or more and three contributed at least $3,300. Public officials who have contributed to Schiff’s campaign include Tiburon Parks, Open Space and Trails Commissioner Tim Burr, who donated $3,300, and Belvedere City Councilmember Jane Cooper, who donated $500.

 


Lee has received $20,195 from Tiburon Peninsula residents, with almost three-quarters of that amount coming from two peninsula residents. Porter is in a distant third, with $9,577 donated by peninsula residents to her campaign. Five residents have contributed $1,000 or more to the Porter campaign, with one public official, Belvedere Planning Commissioner Kevin Burke, donating $250 to her election efforts.

 

Steve Garvey received $1,100 while attorney Eric Early received $700.

 

The gulf in fundraising is similar to voter registration statistics on the peninsula. Of the 6,646 registered voters in Tiburon as of Jan. 5, some 3,747 are registered Democrats compared to the 1,067 registered Republicans. Belvedere offers a similar composition — 1,623 registered voters are split between 809 Democrats and 321 Republicans. In both municipalities, there are more voters registered with no party preference than there are Republicans: Tiburon with 1,453 and Belvedere with 394.

 

Reach Francisco Martinez at 415-944-4634.

 

 

 

 

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