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In the fight for a seat on the San Francisco Superior Court, it looks like the politician bested the judge in round one. Campaign finance statements filed Monday show county Supervisor Gerardo Sandoval has out-raised sitting Judge Thomas Mellon Jr. by almost five to one. A third challenger, attorney Mary Mallen, hadn’t filed as of Tuesday afternoon. Sandoval, a Democrat, tucked away $100,825 during a 2 1/2-month period beginning Jan. 1, while Mellon, a Republican, grabbed just $21,643. Sandoval, whose judicial aspirations had been a subject of rumor before his official announcement in early January, likely benefited from his connections and a head start on fundraising, said political analyst David Latterman. “Sandoval has been working it pretty hard during the last couple of months,” Latterman said. “I don’t know Judge Mellon, but I can’t imagine he spent the better part of the last three months fundraising for this.” Mellon leaned heavily on fellow jurists for financial backing. Donations from California judges from several courts account for most of his contributions. His largest single donation – of $5,000 – came from Carol Chin, who is married to state Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin. Among the San Francisco Superior Court judges contributing to Mellon were: Richard Kramer, Anne Bouliane, James McBride, John Stewart, John Munter, Gail Dekreon, Carol Yaggy and Philip Moscone. Mellon’s biggest judicial assists came in the form of $1,000 donations from Republican-appointed Judges Ernest Goldsmith and A. James Robertson. Sandoval counts organized labor and real estate developers among his backers, Latterman said, and Monday’s filings indicate similar interests have again stepped up to the plate for the District 11 supervisor, whose current and final term expires at the end of the year. Of the three $5,000 contributions Sandoval received – the highest amount given by any single donor – one came from retail developer Stevens-Hemingway-Stevens Inc. and the other from Yerba Buena Commons Associates Inc. A third came from dental hygienist Jeannine Greenlaw. Sandoval also garnered $1,200 donations from construction interests such as McCarthy Engineering Inc., Cullinane Construction and Imbelloni Construction Co. “Sandoval has carried the torch for developers in the past,” Latterman said. “He’s had these networks cultivated for a long time.” Both campaigns have spent more than $5,000 since the new year. Mellon paid political consultant Jim Ross $5,000, while Sandoval spent almost the same amount on filing fees and designing his Web site. Mallen, also still in the running, said a misprinted date on her candidate information caused a delay, and that she would file Tuesday or Wednesday. The earliest contributions to Mellon’s campaign began rolling in on Feb. 6, according to his filings, a little under two weeks after Sandoval’s first recorded donations, though Latterman said he has no doubt Sandoval “had his ducks in a row before he even officially declared.” As a sitting judge, Mellon “by definition” doesn’t spend much of his career cultivating donors, Latterman said, yet he would be surprised if the judge didn’t close the fundraising gap, “because now he sees he’s in a race.”

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