Politics & Government

Race for 4th District supervisor brings in record donations

Lynn Compton and Caren Ray
Lynn Compton and Caren Ray newsroom@thetribunenews.com

Candidates Caren Ray and Lynn Compton have raised what appears to be a record-breaking amount of money in their bid to become District 4 county supervisor.

According to the most recent campaign finance reports ending Sept. 30, Compton has raised $284,741 this year and spent $334,806. Ray has raised $184,948 and spent $187,365.

Together the candidates have raised $469,689 this year, which includes monetary, nonmonetary and loan contributions. In 2013, when fundraising began, Compton raised $63,600 and Ray raised $49,800 — bringing the overall campaign total to $583,089.

The most money previously raised in a county supervisor election was in the 2008 District 3 race that drew $507,000 in contributions.

Compton has given her own campaign $32,228. Her largest donor is the Republican Central Committee of San Luis Obispo County, which has given $18,042 to her campaign this year. Nicholas Cook, a retired engineer in Los Osos, was not far behind, having given $14,775 this year to Compton’s campaign.

Compton, who co-owns Valley Farm Supply, has considerable support from the agriculture industry. Other large Compton donors are Teixeira Farms of Santa Maria, which gave $5,250, and Joseph R. Rouleau of San Luis Obispo, who gave $4,310.

Although the District 4 seat represents the South County, Compton has also been getting donations from North County residents and vineyard owners, indicating countywide interest in the race.

For example, Steinbeck Vineyards of Paso Robles has donated $2,326 to the Compton campaign this year. In separate individual donations, vineyard owner Beverly Steinbeck gave another $2,326, and vineyard executive Cindy Steinbeck gave $100 to Compton this year.

District 5 Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who represents part of the North County, has contributed $980 to Compton’s campaign.

Compton has $90,035 in outstanding debts, while Ray has $500 in outstanding debts.

Ray, a former teacher and Arroyo Grande City Council member, was appointed to the seat by Gov. Jerry Brown last November, replacing Paul Teixeira, who died of a heart attack while in office. The district includes Arroyo Grande, Nipomo and Oceano.

Labor unions, developers and the SLO County Democratic Party were the biggest donors to Ray’s campaign.

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers of San Luis Obispo has given her campaign $10,000. CDF Firefighters gave Ray $6,500, while the Democratic Party gave her $4,000 and the San Luis Obispo Deputy Sheriff’s Association donated $5,000. Developer Gary Grossman, president of Coastal Community Builders, also gave $5,000. Jason Blankenship, sales manager for Innovative Housing Solutions, gave $5,000.