Sandberg, Mayer Help Fund California Challenger’s Campaign

Photograph by Jim Wilson/The New York Times via Redux

Ro Khanna, an Indian-American lawyer who served as a deputy assistant secretary in the Commerce Department, talks with supporters at a restaurant in Milpitas, Calif., on Feb. 22, 2013.

Silicon Valley leaders including Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer are backing California Democrat Ro Khanna’s seven-figure bid to unseat a Democratic congressman.

Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., donated $1,000 on June 14 and Mayer, the chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc., gave $2,600 on April 25, Khanna’s campaign said in a filing today with the Federal Election Commission.

Khanna, a technology lawyer and former U.S. Commerce Department official, raised $1.05 million in this year’s second quarter, a robust total 11 months before the first-round primary election. Candidates for Congress are required to file updated campaign finance reports by July 15.

Khanna, who began July with $1.74 million in campaign funds, is trying to unseat seven-term Democratic Rep. Mike Honda in California’s 17th District, a Democratic-tilting area that includes Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Cupertino and part of San Jose. Apple Inc., the world’s biggest technology company by stock market value, is based in Cupertino,  and Yahoo’s headquarters are in Sunnyale.

Khanna’s second-quarter donors also included Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president; Marc Benioff, the chief executive officer of Inc.; and Ajay Banga, the chief executive officer of MasterCard Inc.

Be sure to read Joshua Green’s Bloomberg BusinessWeek profile of Khanna’s campaign, which is getting assistance from some veterans of President Barack Obama’s campaigns.

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