Pumped up by tens of thousands of dollars from wine and agricultural interests, Debbie Arnold has raised close to $175,000 this year in her campaign to unseat Supervisor Jim Patterson.
His campaign, meanwhile, has raised $97,000, which has pushed the North County race well beyond the quarter-million-dollar mark.
In the south-central county race, challenger Ed Waage, aided by a pair of large donations from Republican groups, has closed the income gap with incumbent Adam Hill, and the two enter the final days of the campaign with about the same amount of money on hand — slightly more than $11,000.
In the North County’s 5th Supervisor District, Arnold raised $93,733 in the reporting period between March 18 and May 19, bringing her year-to-date total to $174,336.
She took in $15,000 from the San Luis Obispo Wine Community Alliance; $10,000 from auto racing magnate Gerald Forsythe, chairman and CEO of Continental Vineyards; $10,500 from the Lincoln Club of San Luis Obispo, a Republican organization; and $9,000 from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee.
Arnold had 18 donors of more than $1,000 but also had scores of retirees and other smaller contributors from a cross section of the community, such as the owner of Dan’s Barber Shop in Atascadero, who gave her $150. In all, she had approximately 165 donors.
Arnold’s largest expenditure was more than $90,000 to campaign consultant Meridian Pacific, whose founding partner, John Peschong, also is chairman of the executive committee of the Lincoln Club and writes a monthly Viewpoint for The Tribune.
Patterson took in $70,451 in the reporting period, according to documents filed with the county clerk-recorder, raising his year-to-date total to $97,123.
Patterson had seven contributors of more than $1,000, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($1,000) and the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union ($1,500).
The great bulk of Patterson’s roughly 220 contributions came in donations of less than $1,000 from retirees, salespersons, dentists, teachers and others.
As the campaign entered its final phase May 20, Arnold had $38,000 on hand, and Patterson had $9,000.
In the 3rd District, which includes Pismo Beach, Grover Beach, Avila Beach and parts of San Luis Obispo, Pismo Beach City Councilman Waage took in $38,494, bringing his yearly total to $73,102.
Waage had some of the same large donors as Arnold, with the Lincoln Club giving him $10,500 and the California Real Estate Political Action Committee giving him $4,000.
He also took in more than $1,000 from four other donors, including the Scenic Coast Association of Realtors, which gave him $1,500. Other familiar names were San Luis Obispo farmer Ernie Dalidio ($100) and former congressional candidate Matt Kokkonen ($150).
Most of Waage’s roughly 70 donations, however, came in small amounts from retirees and others. He also has loaned himself more than $24,000.
Waage also has been aided by an independent expenditure committee formed and run by off-road advocate Kevin P. Rice, who has been running anti-Hill radio advertisements that have roiled the campaign. Rice calls his organization “Integrity SLO Opposes Adam Hill for Supervisor 2012.”
Hill took in $26,158, bringing his year-to-date total to $46,781.
Hill had approximately 70 contributors, of whom nine gave more than $1,000.
Among Hill’s larger donors were the Sun Power Corp. ($1,000), the San Luis Obispo Deputy Sheriffs Association ($2,500), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($1,000), the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union ($1,500) and NKT Properties LLC ($1,000).
Most of Hill’s donations were in smaller amounts and, as with the other candidates, came from retirees, professors, business people and a cross section of the community.
All the candidates reported scores of donations of less than $1,000, which do not have to be recorded.