Politics & Government

Campaign reports show heavy spending in District 4 supervisor race

The Latino Outreach Council hosted a San Luis Obispo County 4th District supervisor candidates forum with Mike Byrd, Lynn Compton and Caren Ray on Wednesday, April 16.
The Latino Outreach Council hosted a San Luis Obispo County 4th District supervisor candidates forum with Mike Byrd, Lynn Compton and Caren Ray on Wednesday, April 16. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

With just 11 days left until the June 3 primary, local candidates have been raising and spending money in a last-ditch effort to get their names and faces in front of voters. In some cases, candidates have dug into their own pockets to finance their campaigns; in other instances, generous donors have stepped forward.

The most expensive local campaign so far: The 4th District race for county supervisor, which has attracted nearly $500,000.

The most recent campaign contribution filings with the county Clerk-Recorder’s Office report funding activity through May 17. Here is a rundown for spending by candidates running for county supervisor, county clerk-recorder, Morro Bay mayor and City Council, and 35th District Assembly:

County Supervisor, District 4

The highly competitive South County 4th District race has attracted nearly $500,000 in contributions.

Nipomo businesswoman Lynn Compton leads the three candidates with $217,914 in contributions. Her campaign also spent freely. Her latest statement shows an ending balance of $35,890 with $66,841 in outstanding debts.

One of Compton’s most generous donors is retired Los Osos resident Nicholas Cook who gave $7,275 this year.

Appointed incumbent Caren Ray of Arroyo Grande has garnered $140,549 in contributions. Her statement shows an ending balance of $47,098. Developer Gary Grossman, president of Coastal Community Builders, was a generous donor, giving more than $15,000.

Nipomo real estate broker Michael Byrd has raised $121,139. His campaign shows a balance of $7,129. One of his biggest donors was Allan Real Estate Investments of Arroyo Grande, giving $2,000.

County Supervisor, District 2

The District 2 race along the North Coast has garnered slightly more than $91,000 in total campaign contributions.

Incumbent Bruce Gibson of Cayucos raised $66,598 since the campaign began and had an ending balance of $4,341. His most generous supporter was the San Luis Obispo County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, having given $2,500 this year.

Challenger Muril Clift of Cambria raised $24,500 with $4,369 still on hand. His largest contributor is the labor union International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 639 which gave $2,500 this year.

County Clerk-Recorder

Three candidates are vying to replace Julie Rodenwald, who is retiring.

Assistant Clerk-Recorder Tommy Gong raised $24,571 and spent $20,763 on campaign materials, postage, meetings and becoming a member of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce. He has $3,808 left.

His largest recent combined donation came from Compco Industries, an Ohio-based company that manufacturers metal products. Gong received $500 from the company plus $500 from Gregory Smith, the company’s chairman. Gong said he and Smith are longtime friends and both serve on the board of directors for the Bruce Lee Foundation. The IBEW Local 639 Committee also gave Gong $500.

Deputy Clerk-Recorder Amanda King raised $5,451 including a $4,000 she loaned herself. The largest donation, $500, came from her significant other, Nhi To of San Luis Obispo. Her expenditures include $4,243 on campaign signs and a billboard ad along Highway 101; she has $830 left.

Caltrans business management district chief Ann Danko has raised $8,388 including $4,000 of her own. She spent $7,178 on campaign gear such as lawn signs, T-shirts and fliers and advertisements. She has $1,210 left.

Morro Bay Mayor and City Council

In the Morro Bay mayoral race, challenger Carla Wixom raised $10,751, including $2,500 of her own money, and spent $10,543. She has $570 in unpaid bills.

Wixom’s biggest recent contributors were San Luis Obispo retiree Delia Padilla; Fresno nurse Christine McKinney; John Solu (self-employed) and Joan Solu (a hotelier) of Morro Bay. Each gave $500.

Jamie Irons, the mayoral incumbent, raised $12,685 and spent $10,350 overall, including $1,885 in postage for mailers and $1,581 with HB Design on graphic designs of his campaign materials. Contributors include contractor Randall Irons of Vista, who donated $1,100, and Morro Bay retirees Gar and Elizabeth Salzgeber, who gave $1,000.

In the race for two City Council seats, John Headding received $9,523 in contributions, including a $4,500 personal loan. He spent $6,118 including $3,372 with Morro Bay’s Hay Printing on fliers, letters and signs.

Council candidate Matt Makowetski raised $7,629 and spent $4,917 including $1,144 on yard signs. He has received mostly donations of around $100.

Nancy Johnson, an incumbent, raised $11,742, including $4,103 of her own money. She spent $7,149, more than $4,000 of which was used for campaign literature from Salinas-based Paramount Communications. She received $500 donations from Gilroy attorney Susan Pool and Newport Beach resident Robert Zinngrabe, a business owner.

35th District Assembly

A huge fundraising disparity exists between the two candidates vying for a district that includes all of San Luis Obispo County and part of Santa Barbara County.

The June 3 primary is essentially a rehearsal for them, since voters will make the final decision Nov. 4.

Incumbent Katcho Achadjian, a Republican, has brought in a total of $276,077 in 2013 and 2014. He has $230,504 in cash on hand after expenditures.

Contributors this past reporting period include PG&E Corp.; Tenet, which owns Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital; and three Indian tribes in San Diego County. Democrat Heidi Harmon, a San Luis Obispo resident who teaches climate education in the community, raised a total of $1,069 and spent $153. Her largest single contribution was $200 from the Paso Robles Democratic Club.

24th District, U.S. Representative

Eight candidates are running to unseat incumbent Lois Capps. The postmark deadline for candidates mailing their campaign finance forms to the Federal Election Commission was Thursday and not all forms had been received by Friday.