Who’s making large donations to the Alameda County’s District 5 Supervisor race?

Zack Haber
7 min readFeb 13, 2024

About $342,500, a little less than half of the approximately $705,000 raised in the race so far, has come from just 30 sources.

A ballot drop box sits in West Oakland on Feb. 12. Photo by Zack Haber

Nine candidates are running to be a part of Alameda County’s Board of Supervisors as the District 5 representative. District 5 includes West and North Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley, Piedmont and Albany. The five member Board of Supervisors sets the county’s budget, governs its unincorporated areas, oversees the sheriff, Alameda Health System, and the mental health system. Voting for this election is currently open. Most of those living in the district will have been mailed paper ballots. Residents can also vote in person on March 5, the last day voting is open. If no candidate gets more than half the votes, the top two candidates will face off in a run-off election in November.

Candidates in Alameda County are required to report all of their campaign donations. The public can search these filings through an online portal. Through looking through all documents currently reported, we have found that residents, businesses and other organizations such as unions have donated around $705,000 in total to all candidates as of Feb. 13. In three cases, candidates donated to their own campaigns, but we excluded these figures.

Of the nine candidates, John Bauters, the former Emeryville Mayor and current City Councilmember, has raised the most, about $167,500. Alameda County Board of Education Trustee Ken Berrick raised about $157,500. Piedmont resident and East Bay Rental Housing Association board member Chris Moore raised about $129,000. Oakland City Councilmember Nikki Fortunato Bas raised about $130,000. Berkeley City Councilmember Ben Bartlett raised about $103,500.

The other candidates, Omar Farmer, Gregory Hodge, Gerald Pechenuk and Lorrel Plimier have all raised much less than the other candidates. Hodge raised about 11,500. Plimier raised about $5,500. Farmer and Pechenuk haven’t reported receiving any campaign donations.

While there were over 525 donations to candidates in total, of these, about $342,500 or a little less than half the about $705,000 in total donations, came from just 30 sources. For the purposes of this article, we’ve defined these 30 donations as large donations — $5,000 or more. Bartlett, Bas, Bauters, Berrick, and Moore have received large donations, while Farmer, Hodge, Pechenuk and Plimier have not.

Below is a listing of each reported large donation, and information we could find about its source. We ordered the list in alphabetical order by candidate name.

Large donations to Ben Bartlett:

Mukemmel ‘Mike’ Sarimsakci of Millbrae donated $10,000. Sarimsakci is a real estate developer and the CEO of Alterra Worldwide, commercial real estate company that has completed at least two dozen projects in the Texas, Georgia, Turkey and throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. In 2017, the company signed a letter of intent to build a Trump branded hotel in Dallas, but Donald Trump’s company pulled out of the deal.

Man Hao Chen of San Francisco donated 5,000. He’s the CEO and founder of Sunbber, inc., a crop farming company. Sunbber, inc. also donated to Bas’s campaign.

Bao Le of Fremont, donated $5,000. Le is the founder and CEO of Hemp.co, a company that sells marijuana and marijuana extracts for medical purposes.

Retired Berkeley resident Frank Brown donated $5,000.

Large donations to Nikki Fortunado Bas:

Alameda Labor Council AFL-CIO Unity donated $20,000. The council is an umbrella organization that organizes political, educational and community programs for more than 135 unions representing about 135,000 healthcare, construction, service, education, and manufacturing workers.

Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County donated $20,000. The council is a coalition of 28 different unions representing workers in construction trades.

Quinn Delaney of Piedmont donated $20,000 dollars. Delaney is a founder and the board chair of Akonadi Foundation, a foundation that gives grants to nonprofit organizations. Its mission statement says that it invests in racial justice organizing and policy advocacy in Oakland and Alameda County. Delaney also serves on the boards of East Bay Community Foundation, Oakland Museum of California, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Women Donors Network Action Fund.

Wayne Jordan of Piedmont donated $10,000. He is the husband of Quinn Delaney and also serves on Akonadi Foundation’s board. Additionally, Jordan is a landlord and founder and president of Jordan Real Estate Investments, a real estate investment and development firm. Jordan Real Estate Investments owns at least 28 properties in Oakland and Piedmont, including apartment complexes with, in total, hundreds of housing units. The company also has real estate investments in New York City and Washington DC.

California Working Families Party donated $10,000. The organization’s website describes itself as a “grassroots party for the multiracial working class.”

Bas received a $5,000 donation from the San Francisco crop farming company, Sunbber, inc. Man Hao Chen, who donated to Ben Bartlett’s campaign, is the CEO of Sunbber.

IBEW Local 595, a union representing about 2,000 electric workers in Alameda and San Joaquin/Calaveras counties, donated $5,000.

UA Local 342, a union representing around 4,000 workers in the pipe trades industries in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, donated $5,000.

Large donations to John Bauters:

Maryam Asefinejad of Orangevale donated $20,000. She’s a board member of Teranomic Software, a company that’s contracted with at least seven California state agencies such as the Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Healthcare Services, and Prison and Healthcare Services. Teranomic creates web applications, back end technologies, and drone software. The drone software is used for traffic management, identity management, gaming, product delivery, and surveillance.

Fred J Bauters of Lisle, IL donated $20,000. Fred Bauters is retired and a relative of John Bauters.

The International Association of Firefighters Local 55 donated $11,000. This union represents Alameda County Firefighters.

State Assemblymember Buffy Wicks donated $10,000 from her reelection campaign. Wick’s currently represents and is seeking to be reelected to State Assembly District 14.

Nick Josefowitz of San Francisco donated $10,000. He has served as a commissioner with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission since 2017 and has run unsuccessfully for election to the SF Board of Supervisors. He’s a former BART director and former policy director at SPUR, a nonprofit public policy organization. Recently, he co-founded a nonprofit called Permit Power, which he describes as “working towards cheap, easy and lightning fast clean energy deployment.”

Daniel Golden of Santa Monica donated $5,000. He works in sales at Bausch Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company.

Marc Hedlund of Berkeley donated $5,000. He’s worked as a manager at the tech companies Stripe and Mailchimp. Last year, he started Tenuki Moves LLC, a private investment business. Hedlund has recently served as a commissioner on Berkeley’s Environment and Climate Commission and is currently a treasurer of the nonprofits Bike East Bay and Code 2040.

The California YIMBY Victory Fund donated $5,000. According to its website, this state political action committee supports “pro-housing candidates for elected office and pro-housing ballot initiatives in California.”

Steven Berger of Berkeley donated $5,000. He is the president of the company NYF Properties, inc.

Large donations to Ken Berrick:

Megan Salazar of Richmond donated $13,520. Salazar is the director of advocacy for the Bay Area based nonprofit, Just Advocates. The non-profit works with families to navigate services for children such as child welfare, juvenile justice, schools, developmental services, and behavioral health systems. Ken Berrick is the founder and CEO of Just Advocates.

Christopher Ciauri of London, England donated $17,500. He is the CEO of Unily, a software company. In the past, Ciauri has worked in tech for Google Cloud, Salesforce, and Valen Technologies Inc.

Betsy Maushardt of Santa Cruz donated $10,500. She is listed as unemployed in the filings and has worked as a high school tennis coach in the past.

Christopher Seiwald of Alameda donated 5,000. Seiwald is a member of the University of San Francisco’s Board of Trustees and is an investor with the Berkeley Angel Network, a group that promotes entrepreneurship education to the UC Berkeley and Alumni community. He’s the director of the Perforce Foundation, the charitable wing of the Perforce software company.

Large donations to Chris Moore:

Quintin Anderson of Redwood City donated $20,000. He’s the Chief Operating Officer with Granite River Labs, a company with a dozen labs across the US, Europe and Asia that helps hardware engineers access high speed connectivity technologies.

Madeline Moore of Walnut Creek donated $20,000. She is a retired and a relative of Chris Moore.

Philip Dreyfuss of Oakland donated $20,000. Dreyfus is a partner with Farallon Capital Management, a San Francisco based hedge fund. He is also the largest funder of the Recall Pamela Price campaign, contributing $390,000 as of December 31.

Fred Morse of Piedmont donated $15,000. He is a landlord with Morse Management that owns at least 60 properties in the Bay Area, including apartment complexes with, in total, hundreds of housing units. He serves on the board of East Bay Rental Housing Association, a nonprofit organization that represents over 1,500 landlords in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. In total, $10,000 of Morse’s was listed under his own name and $5,000 was listed under his company.

Justin Wallway of Oakland donated $10,000. He is a landlord with JDW Enterprises. The company’s address is listed on property records for at least 80 buildings in California, the majority of which are in the Bay Area, according to the SFChronicle. He’s attempted to use legal loopholes to exempt some of his properties from rent control.

Notes: A shorter version of this article is scheduled to be published later this week by The Post News Group in The Oakland Post.