San Luis Obispo County supervisor candidate John Peschong has raised more money in his bid for the District 1 seat than the other candidates running for two supervisor spots in the Nov. 8 election.
Peschong, a political consultant, has brought in nearly five times as much money as his opponent, Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin. They are running to succeed outgoing Supervisor Frank Mecham, who has often served as a crucial swing vote on the board while representing a large stretch of northern San Luis Obispo County.
In the District 3 South County race, incumbent Supervisor Adam Hill has outraised San Luis Obispo City Councilman Dan Carpenter — but Carpenter drew in nearly as much in contributions during the first nine months of 2016 as Hill.
Whoever is elected to the Board of Supervisors will have a say in numerous important and controversial issues: ongoing discussions on how to address the county’s high cost of housing; a permanent ordinance regulating marijuana; a permanent oak protection ordinance; and the Phillips 66 Co. oil-by-rail proposal (if it is appealed), to name a few.
All four of the candidates are heading to runoffs in November because none of them received more than 50 percent of the vote in the June 7 primary.
Peschong, who founded political consulting and public affairs firm Meridian Pacific Inc. with two other partners in 2003, has raised a total of $250,203 in 2015 through Sept. 24, 2016, his most recent campaign finance forms show. That includes about $19,226 in nonmonetary contributions in 2016.
Peschong has spent about $183,053 in cash so far this year — with $50,716 in cash expenditures since July 1 — with about $4,036 in unpaid bills as of Sept. 24.
In the most recent campaign finance filing period — which ranges from July 1 to Sept. 24 — Peschong received three $5,000 contributions from H&S Water Well Drilling & Pump Co. in San Luis Obispo; K&M Holding Corp. in San Luis Obispo; and Herbert Perrett of Santa Maria, owner of Perrett Ranches.
Since July, Peschong also received 27 contributions of $1,000 or more. Those include contributions from Stephen Hearst of Hearst’s Western Properties; John Scardino of Assets in Motion, who oversees the Woodlands (Monarch Dunes) development in Nipomo, according to the company’s website; Shea Homes, which is constructing the Monarch Dunes homes; Rava Wines; Richard Quinn, the owner and winemaker of Opolo Winery; the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast Political Action Committee; and the San Luis Obispo County Wine Community PAC.
Peschong lists hundreds of individual endorsements on his website, including conservative county Supervisors Lynn Compton and Debbie Arnold. He’s also received endorsements from conservative organizations including the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, the American Conservative Union and the Lincoln Club of San Luis Obispo County (which has given $7,000 to his campaign so far this year).
Martin lists endorsements from about 200 individuals on his website, including Atascadero Mayor Tom O’Malley, local rancher Dee Lacey, state Sen. Bill Monning, Paso Robles Mayor Pro Tem Fred Strong, San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx and Councilman John Ashbaugh. He’s also received endorsements from the San Luis Obispo County Democratic Party and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 639 in San Luis Obispo.
But he’s raised far less than Peschong — $52,720 in 2015 through Sept. 24. Martin has spent about $32,513 in cash so far this year.
Martin received four $1,000 contributions in the most recent filing period, from Pierre Bachoc, a broker with Agpro Insurance; Robert Curry of Paso Robles; Gregg Ellison, a physician from Templeton; and Gwendolyn Erskine, vice president of Ranch & Coast Property.
In the South County race, Hill has raised $242,246 total in 2015 through Sept. 24, 2016. He has spent about $197,453 in cash so far this year.
Hill received one $5,000 contribution in the most recent filing period from Michael Burns of MickTec, a sales recruiting and startup adviser firm, in Marina Del Rey.
He also brought in 11 donations of $1,000 each from individuals or organizations, including developer Rob Rossi; Greengate Farms SLO LLC; Shea Homes; Daou Vineyards & Winery (which has given $3,000 to Hill this year); developer Nick Tompkins of NKT Commercial (who has given $5,000 this year); and Supervisor Bruce Gibson (who has contributed $7,000 this year).
Carpenter has raised a total of $133,903, but he raised much less in 2015 than Hill. So far in 2016, however, his fundraising has ramped up, bringing in $105,750 this year (including $22,005 in nonmonetary contributions) compared with Hill’s $110,860 (with $9,751 in nonmonetary contributions).
Carpenter has spent $69,899 in cash this year.
The vast majority of Carpenter’s contributions are smaller amounts of $300 or less. But he did receive $5,000 from H&S Water Well Drilling & Pump Co. in San Luis Obispo and $2,000 from the San Luis Obispo Cattlemen’s PAC. Supervisor Debbie Arnold also contributed $500.
Endorsements listed on Carpenter’s website include Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham and Ed Waage, a councilman who is running for mayor; Arroyo Grande Mayor Jim Hill; former Grover Beach mayors David Ekbom and Peter Keith; former San Luis Obispo Mayor David Romero; and Supervisor Arnold.
Hill’s endorsements include all of the San Luis Obispo City Council except for Carpenter; all but one member of the Grover Beach City Council (excluding Councilman Jeff Lee); state Sen. Bill Monning; and Pismo Beach City Council members Erik Howell and Sheila Blake.