Labor Spending Early for Abel Guillen and Annie Campbell Washington

East Bay unions have opened their checkbooks early for two liberal Oakland City Council candidates — Abel Guillen and Annie Campbell Washington — spending more than $65,000 on ads so far for the candidates, campaign finance records show. The big spending in early October — a month before Election Day — may be an indication that labor is worried about these two council seats. 

Guillen, a longtime Peralta Community Colleges trustee, and Campbell Washington, an Oakland school board member, are trailing in the polls behind more moderate candidates. According to a comprehensive poll commissioned last month by Oakland developer Phil Tagami, Guillen was trailing Dana King, a former TV news anchor, 45 percent to 55 percent, in a ranked-choice voting scenario for the council’s District Two seat (Grand Lake-Eastlake). In the same poll, Campbell Washington was trailing Jill Broadhurst, who heads a landlords group, 36 percent to 60 percent, for the District Four seat (Montclair-Laurel). However, there are large numbers of undecided voters in both races.

According to campaign records filed with the Oakland City Clerk’s Office this week, Unity PAC, which is sponsored by the Alameda Labor Council, an umbrella organization that includes numerous unions, has spent $25,821 each on political ads for Guillen and Campbell Washington. In addition, a committee created by the Teamsters and the Oakland firefighters union has spent $13,924 on ads for Guillen.

According to the latest campaign finance filings, Guillen raised $82,404 in donations through September 30, while King had raised $66,920. Campbell Washington, meanwhile, had raised $94,332, and Broadhurst had raised $78,661. Those totals for Guillen and Campbell Washington do not include the independent expenditures by labor organizations.   
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