Cindy Chavez has not ruled out a third bid for mayor or for a Sacramento seat in 2024 when her third and final supervisor term expires. She might have a head start for a future campaign, as at least one of the pro-Chavez PACs, the San Jose Firefighters Local 230 PAC, reported a Jan. 30 cash balance of $376,697.
Another Chavez-supporting PAC, the Santa Clara County Government Attorneys’ Association, reported $54,170 left in its coffers after spending $225,000 on the unsuccessful Chavez campaign. Altogether, the PACs that supported Chavez have a surplus war chest of nearly $500,000, according to their latest reports filed with the San Jose city clerk.
The Chavez campaign by itself reported a cash balance of just $9,135 with $555 in outstanding debts.
Newly elected Mayor Matt Mahan’s campaign organization has some unfinished business, according to his latest filings with the city clerk, with $25,107 in cash, and $4,504 in outstanding campaign debts, as of Jan. 31.
Mahan and Chavez and their supporters spent more than $12 million—nearly $50 for every vote cast—in the 2022 race for mayor of San Jose, according to updated reports filed as of Jan. 31.
In the latest reports, the two candidates reported they had paid most of their campaign debt and depleted most of the money in their bank accounts from the most expensive campaign in the city’s history.
Most of the spending by the Chavez campaign in the race—which she lost by 6,047 votes of more than 250,000 cast—came from 10 independent political action committees. The 10 PACs supporting the supervisor spent nearly $5.8 million of a total of nearly $7.9 million, according to documents filed this week.
Organized labor PACs—the AFL-CIO South Bay Labor Council and city police and firefighters unions—were the big spenders for Chavez, using money from individual union members as well as bundled gifts from big individual and corporate donors to amass more than $3.8 million in funds for the Chavez campaign.
The Chavez campaign organization spent $2.1 million on the campaign.
Other PACs that supported her campaign included a San Francisco 49ers committee, which spent $736,305, and San Jose Together, led by Silicon Valley influencer Carl Guardino, which spent $512,689 attempting to get Chavez elected.
The two PACs that supported Mahan spent $1.97 million, while the mayor’s own campaign organization spent $2.38 million. Spending reports also revealed that Mahan’s biggest direct contributor was the National Association of Realtors Fund, which donated $137,677 to the mayor’s campaign.