Donations Continue to Flow in Stockton Unified Races

Saturday, October 3 at 8:59 pm

Two candidates for seats on the Stockton Unified School District Board of Education, Viola Shackelford and Valentino Silva, have received a series of large contributions, both monetary and nonmonetary, from committees sponsored by the Central Valley Leadership Fund this week.

The committees, entitled Voters in Support of Viola Shackelford for Stockton Unified School Board 2020 and Voters in Support of Valentino Silva for Stockton Unified School Board 2020 respectively, have given more than $18,000 in the past seven days. Shackelford received $9,600 from the former in nonmonetary contributions, while Silva received almost $8,800. Almost $5,400 of his sum was monetary, coming from three donations on October 2.

Nonmonetary contributions, also known as “in kind”, refer to when a person or entity pays for services on behalf of someone else, or when a committee receives services at less than the usual charge.

Both candidates also received $7,900 from their respective committees on September 18. A third candidate, current Stockton Unified trustee Lange Luntao, also has a committee sponsored by the Central Valley Leadership Fund. However, he has not received any donations from it as of October 3.

Aside from the committees for Shackelford, Silva, and Luntao, the fund has made only one other contribution: $2,500 on August 19 to the recall petition for Stockton Unified trustees Scot McBrian and Maria Mendez. Mendez and McBrian, along with Kathleen Garcia and Cecilia Mendez, form the majority wing of the board that has split with Luntao, Candelaria Vargas, and AngelAnn Flores over a number of issues including former superintendent John Deasy’s abrupt resignation in April.

Garcia is termed out this year and is running for the Delta College Board of Trustees istead. Silva is seeking her seat. Shackelford is running against Cecilia Mendez in District 1.

The Central Valley Leadership Fund has also been active in Stockton races in previous years. In 2018, it donated $1,000 each to four city council candidates: Christina Fugazi and Dyane Burgos Medina (both running in District 5), and Paul Canepa and Susan Lofthus (both running in District 3).

The organization also donated to Stockton Unified races two years ago. It gave $3,500 to Flores and $2,500 each to Vargas, Angela Phillips, and Kitty Ruhstaller.

Not much is known about the fund. Statements of organization list Stockton political consultant and chairman of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Bob Gutierrez as both the treasurer and principal officer.