Christianson outpacing Letras in campaign donations in Stanislaus County sheriff race

gstapley@modbee.comApril 10, 2014 

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate textGarth Stapley
    Title: Reporter
    Coverage areas: Regional water, growth, land-use and transportation; civil law, real estate fraud and special projects
    Bio: In his 19 years with The Bee, Garth Stapley has focused on city and county government
    E-mail: gstapley@modbee.com

Adam Christianson’s re-election campaign for Stanislaus County sheriff has attracted five times as much money as that of his challenger, Deputy Tom Letras.

As of the end of the latest reporting period three weeks ago, Christianson, seeking a third four-year term, had amassed $81,332 in donations and spent $79,840. Contributions before 2013 leave his campaign with $24,560 yet to spend before the June 3 election, not counting other donations that continue to pour in.

The bulk of Letras’ $16,481 came after former candidate Tori Hughes, a department lieutenant serving as police chief in Patterson, who dropped out of the race early this year.

By Jan. 1, Hughes had raised $12,168. She cited unspecified medical concerns when she suspended her campaign a few days later. At that point, Letras had raised $2,810, and Christianson was outpacing both with $58,257 – nearly three times the combined total of his challengers.

Letras, 41, obtained a few donations from deputies and former department employees. Other donors include Robert Lynch ($1,700) and Peter Dompe ($1,000).

Christianson, 51, got $500 from former Sheriff Les Weidman and $200 from the campaign of Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin.

The sheriff also received:

• $8,000 from companies and people associated with Patterson’s Del Don family, and $5,025 from others associated with Modesto’s Harley-Davidson dealership.

• $3,850 from Brian Gini of Modesto; $3,500 from Thomas Dompe, Crows Landing; $3,000 from Sierra Pacific Distribution Services; $2,950 from Kent Kushar; and $2,600 from Kenny Roberts, owner of International Racers.

• $2,000 from each of the following: Modesto entrepreneur Dan Costa, Prime Shine Inc., MCE Ventures, Delta Sierra Beverage, Bob Dinsmore, and Associated Feed of Turlock.

• $1,900 from Brian Kline, and $1,500 from the California Poultry Federation.

• $1,000 from LAT Farming, Del Mar Growers, TSM Insurance, Gary Truitt, Sky Trek Aviation, Duarte Nursery, Carl Boyett, Frank and Marie Assali, VA Rodden Inc., TDR Inc., George Petrulakis, Bill Mattos, Jim West, Turlock Transfer Co. and Three Amigos Auto Center.

The sheriff gave donations from his campaign account to several causes, including:

• $2,250 to each of the following: Boy Scouts of America, Stanislaus County Police Activities League, Police Officers Memorial Group.

• $1,500 to Make-a-Wish, Modesto; $1,000, The Salvation Army; $770, FFA of Stanislaus County; $750, Stanislaus Family Justice Center; $600, Howard Training Center.

• $500 to each of the following: Stanislaus County Education Foundation, Oakdale Educational Foundation, United Samaritans of Turlock, United Way, Women’s Auxiliary, and the American Cancer Society.

• $400 to Project Uplift; $300, the Latino Emergency Council and Modesto Gospel Mission; $275, Johansen High Sports Boosters; $250, Youth For Christ.

Hughes’ contributors included several current and former department employees, Newman Mayor Ed Katen ($100) and former Riverbank Mayor Virginia Madueño ($200).

See Sunday’s Modesto Bee and www.modbee.com for a comprehensive look at the sheriff’s race.

Bee staff writer Garth Stapley can be reached at gstapley@modbee.com or (209) 578-2390.

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