Fliers, yard signs, campaign consulting, and website design are a few of the many things city council campaigns include, none of which come cheap. Candidates must raise money for their campaigns through accepting donations or funding it themselves. Campaign financial reports found on the Washington state’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) provide details on the amount of money each candidate has raised and their top donors.
Here are some trends we have identified from analyzing each of the city council candidates’ PDC reports as of Oct. 23.
Sammamish Life PAC contributors show support for candidates
During the 2021 city council elections, an anti-development organization called Sammamish Life PAC spent over $15,000 on behalf of three candidates. The largest funders of Sammamish Life PAC were former fishing company chairman Walter Pereyra and former insurance salesman Harry Shedd.
Although that organization is now dissolved, its funders continue to be major donors for this year’s candidates. Pereyra contributed the maximum $1,200 to the campaign of Josh Amato, and gave Kent Treen and Sid Gupta $750 and $500, respectively. Harry Shedd and his wife Claradell are the largest contributors to Pamela Randolph’s campaign, donating a total of $1,500. They also gave Josh Amato a total of $1,500.
Amato leads candidates in fundraising
Amato is the most prolific fundraiser of the 2023 campaign thus far. He has raised over $21,000, including a $2,000 donation to his own campaign. That total is almost $4,000 more than his opponent Pam Stuart. Besides Pereyra and Shedd, Amato’s other notable donors include Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett, and Jonathan Gerace, a board member of the Sammamish Rotary Club. Amato is currently the president of the Rotary Club.
The Democratic Party shows its support in this race
Party-affiliated donations have been registered for several candidates. The 41st District Democrats have made cash contributions to the campaigns of Kerry Bosworth ($1,500) and Roisin O’Farrell ($250), as well as to Stuart ($1,750) and Gupta ($500). The Washington state Democratic Party also provided in-kind donations to the same four candidates for access to its voter outreach tools.
Current and previous council members show their support
Candidates have received financial support from current and previous council members. Current council member Rituja Indapure has contributed to the campaigns of Stuart and O’Farrell. Former council member Jason Ritchie, who resigned in 2021, has donated to his close ally, Stuart. Former mayor Tom Vance contributed to Stuart, O’Farrell, Gupta, and Bosworth. Former council member Tom Odell donated to O’Farrell’s and Bosworth’s campaigns. Finally, current King County Councilmember Sarah Perry donated $500 to Stuart’s campaign.
Former mayor Don Gerend weighs in
As Sammamish’s longest serving city council member, former mayor Don Gerend had an active role in the development of Sammamish, including being an early advocate of the Sammamish Town Center. He is once again showing who he supports in this race, contributing to Bosworth, Gupta, O’Farrell, and Stuart.
Uma Coimbature has not filed campaign finance reports
Coimbature, who is running for position #2, is accepting donations on her campaign website but has not filed any financial disclosure forms since the start of her campaign. State law requires all contributions to a candidate be reported. Upon inquiring, Coimbature declined to provide a reason and asked that all questions be redirected to the PDC.