By my count, the special election for the District Three council seat has two main candidates: Oscar Gutierrez and Michael Vidal. Looking at the campaign contributions they have received to date, it becomes clear that one candidate, if elected, will be able to be independent while the other will be deeply beholden to politicians, special interest groups, and political action committees (PACs).

Excluding mailers and other promotional advertising paid for by the Democratic Party Oscar Gutierrez has received $17,050 in campaign donations to date. Of these, 73 percent ($12,500) of contributions are from politicians, unions, and PACs. Contributions have come from Mayor Cathy Murillo ($5,000), Councilmember Gregg Hart ($2,000), three unions ($4,500), and a nonpartisan PAC ($1,000).

In contrast, Michael Vidal has received $10,800 in campaign contributions to date with only 19 percent ($2,000) coming from a PAC and the remaining 81 percent coming from individuals.

It is clear that one candidate will be beholden to special interest groups and politicians who helped get them elected while the other will not be. If residents want an independent, competent leader who will fight for them in the Third District, they should vote for Michael Vidal on June 5. That is who I am voting for.


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