Vallejo mayor gives early monetary support to potential council candidates

by John Glidden | | Aug. 16, 2021

VALLEJO – Mayor Robert McConnell has thrown his support behind two potential Vallejo City Council candidates by giving each $500, according to campaign forms submitted to the Solano County Registrar of Voters.

Garrett Toles

Former Vallejo school board Trustee Ruscal Canyangyang is eyeing a run to represent District 4, the Mare Island/North Waterfront areas of the city, while local resident Garrett Toles is hoping to represent District 2 – North Vallejo/Mini.

Toles also received $150 from Paula Bauer – his campaign treasurer, records show.

While, Cayangyang, who served on the Vallejo school board from 2015 – 2018, received an additional $50 from an unnamed source. The names of contributors don’t need to be reported if the donations are below $100.

Cayangyang ran unsuccessfully for the school board in November 2014. However, when Richard Porter declined to be seated after being elected during that contest, Cayangyang, the next highest vote getter, was appointed to the board. He defeated former Vallejo school board Trustee Hazel Wilson in November 2016 to complete the final two years of the term. He was unsuccessful when seeking re-election in November 2018.

A third declared candidate, Tara Beasley-Stansberry, received $3,733 in cash contributions for her run to represent District 5 – Central Vallejo, campaign records show.

Ruscal Cayangyang

Beasley-Stansberry gave her campaign $1,000 in May, with her campaign picking up $550 from Dawn Bates, and $500 from Drummond Threat. The campaign received multiple $100 cash contributions.

Beasley-Stansberry is a small business owner who co-owns Noonies Place with her wife, Rhonda.

Vallejo switched to district-based council elections in July 2019 – almost a full year after Southern California-based lawyer Kevin Shenkman sent a letter arguing the lack of Latino/a, or African Americans on the City Council violated the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).

Months after Shenkman sent his letter in September 2018, Hakeem Brown, who is Black, was elected to the city council.

To avoid a legal battle, expected to cost millions in legal fees, the council agreed to the change.

Tara Beasley-Stansberry

The 2020 council election saw Rozzana Verder-Aliga win re-election to the seven-person council. Verder-Aliga represents District 1 – Hiddenbrooke/Northgate. During the same election, the council gained two new members: Mina Diaz representing District 3 – Glen Cove, and Cristina Arriola representing District 6 – South Vallejo.

Brown, who is up for re-election in 2022, resides in District 5, according to information on the city of Vallejo’s website. He has yet to declare whether he will be seeking another term on the council.

Both Councilmembers Katy Miessner and Pippin Dew will leave the council in January 2023 after being termed out of office. Miessner lives in District 4, while Dew resides in District 1, records show.

All three seats will be scheduled for the Gubernatorial general election on Nov. 8, 2022. is an independent news blog covering the cities of Vallejo and Benicia.  If you appreciate the journalism on this site, please consider making a contribution.

Published by John Glidden

John Glidden is a freelance journalist reporting on the city of Vallejo. The native Vallejoan also covers the local school district, Vallejo elections, and public safety.

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