In his first bid for elected office since he ran for class president, Mayor Ed Lee is winning the popularity contest among fundraisers.
More than $2.6 million in campaign cash has been spent in support of the San Francisco mayor, according to reports.
Lee, who was appointed to succeed former mayor Gavin Newsom in January, jumped into the race in August, after many of the dozen-odd other candidates had been on the campaign trail for months, or in some cases, years. He made up for the lost time, raising and spending $1.7 million for his official campaign, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
And many other moneyed interests got into the action, too. Independent expenditure committees, which are not bound by strict limits on contributions, raised and spent close to another $1 million by Friday, according to the city's Ethics Commission. Any last-minute media blitzes or other stunts for Monday and Tuesday before polls close at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 are not included in the totals.
Many rich Silicon Valley denizens have unloaded for Lee: venture capitalist and registered Republican Ronald C. Conway donated $151,000 towards an independent expenditure committee, with Napster's Sean Parker chipping in anoher $100,000. That money helped pay for the "2 Legit 2 Quit" video, in which luminaries like rap star MC Hammer and Giants closer Brian Wilson extoll Lee's virtues (though neither Hammer, a Tracy resident, nor Wilson are eligible to vote for Lee).