Mayoral hopeful Lor outpacing Thurston in campaign cash

tmiller@mercedsunstar.comSeptember 27, 2013 

Councilman and mayoral hopeful Noah Lor brought in nearly three times as much cash for his campaign since January as incumbent Mayor Stan Thurston, according to documents due this week.

All of the candidates for mayor and Merced City Council were required to file campaign contribution forms by the close of business Thursday. The paperwork was to include contributions through Sept. 21.

Lor has raised $53,341 to Thurston’s $19,409.

Since July 1, Thurston has received $2,000 from the Merced City Firefighters Association, $1,020 from himself, $1,000 from Shannon Pump Co. in Merced, $500 from Lourenco Dairy in Atwater, $500 from Merced property manager Virginia Baker, $500 from the Association of Builders and Contractors and 28 other contributions under $500 each.

Thurston has spent $15,123 since July 1. Those expenses were: $2,965 to Radio Merced for airtime, $1,886 to the Postal Service for campaign mailings, $1,812 to Events Unlimited of Modesto for fundraising, $1,771 to Iowa-based Victory Enterprises for campaign mailings, $1,510 for campaign mailings from Carpenter Printing in Merced, $1,409 to King Signs Co. in Merced for print advertising, $982 to Mid-Valley Publications in Merced for print advertising, and eight other expenses of mostly fundraising fees, mailings and print advertising.

Donations to Lor’s campaign since July 1 include $1,250 from Curtis Riggs of Carrig Properties Tempe LLC and $1,000 from Mary Lyons, who owns Mape’s Ranch in Modesto. Thirty-one other donors gave less than $500 each.

Since July 1, Lor has spent $18,892 on his campaign, including $7,984 on campaign consultant firm Langman Consulting in Merced, $3,677 on print advertising, $785 on plane tickets, $600 on web consulting from Patti Dossetti of Merced. Sixty-five other expenses were mostly for food during meetings or supplies for fundraising.

Five of the eight City Council candidates filed itemized statements. Candidate Peter Padilla, a State Farm Insurance agent, reportedly informed the city clerk’s office he is not accepting $1,000 or more in contributions, which exempts him from filing an itemized list. Padilla filed the required paperwork.

Candidates Alex Gallardo Jr., a teacher, and Monica Kay Villa, a homemaker, did not file the required paperwork, according to staff. The California Fair Political Practices Commission could levy fines for late filings, according to staff.

Candidate and retired city planner Michael Belluomini’s war chest is $5,845, after contributions since July 1 of $540 from retiree Thomas Hockersmith of Merced, $500 from retiree Norma DeLong of Merced, and six other donations of less than $500 each.

The majority of the $1,954 Belluomini spent, $1,093, went to King Signs Co.. The rest was used on five fundraising expenses.

Candidate Kevin Blake, a sheriff’s sergeant, has raised $10,539. Since July 1, his coffer added $2,000 from Merced City Fire Fighters Political Action Committee, $500 from Merced County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Harris, and six other donations under $500 each.

Blake has spent $4,613 since July 1. That includes $2,622 for signs from King Signs Co., $760 for print advertising and two other expenses, one for advertising and the other to sponsor a barbecue.

Candidate Jana Mowrer, a home health care manager for Lamerson Landy Care, has garnered $3,050 to date. Donations since July 1 include $2,000 from Merced City Fire Fighters PAC and five donations of less than $500 each.

Mowrer has spent $3,707 on her campaign. She spent $947 on campaign signs from Paul Wilson of Merced; six other expenditures were for office expenses, advertising and other fundraising.

Incumbent Councilman Josh Pedrozo’s campaign wallet holds $20,506, including contributions of $2,500 from Fagundes Dairy in Merced, $2,100 from the Merced City Fire Fighters PAC, $2,000 from Bapu Farming Co. in Madera, $1,000 from the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council in Oakland, $1,000 from Forebay Farms in Merced, $600 from Gallo Cattle Co. in Merced, $500 from the International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers PAC, $500 from Perret Farming in Merced, $500 from the Citizens for the Betterment of Merced County, $500 from Merced-area teachers Jonathan and Jennifer Dibblee, $500 from Pacific Gas and Electric, and 26 other donations of less than $500 each.

Pedrozo has spent $14,617. He spent $2,197 at Kirk Briggs Signs in Oakdale for signage, $1,481 at Mid-Valley Publications in Merced for print advertising, $972 at Bright Dart in Merced for campaign literature, and $605 at Club Mercedes in Merced for a campaign kickoff. Sixteen other expenses included other fundraising and printing.

Candidate and UC Merced lecturer Chris Ramirez has raised $6,854 for his campaign. That includes donations since July 1 of $500 from Virginia Alonso of Merced and eight other monetary donations of less than $500 each.

He also received $1,000 in donations of phone banks, literature, postage and Internet costs. Half of that came from Cal-Prime Realty real estate agent Arturo Sicairos, and the rest from Chris Chavez of Maria’s Mexican Kitchen.

Ramirez spent $6,618, with payments of $1,500 to Five Ten Bistro for a fundraiser, $580 to Paul Wilson, and three other payments for campaign paraphernalia and office expenses.

According to the League of Women Voters, nine of the 10 candidates – Monica Kay Villa did not confirm – plan to attend a candidate forum scheduled for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Merced City Hall, 678 W. 18th St.

Sun-Star staff writer Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 385-2453 or tmiller@mercedsunstar.com.

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