State Sen. Tom Berryhill’s next career move is unclear, even though he raised large sums to campaign for the state Board of Equalization and recently said he would run for a county supervisor seat.
The 8th District Republican senator, who terms out next year, filed papers several weeks ago with the Stanislaus County elections office showing intent to run for county Supervisor Dick Monteith’s Board of Supervisors seat. Berryhill said that “supervisor” would be his next political office in a taped interview after his vote July 17 for renewal of California’s cap-and-trade program.
There is no rush for Berryhill to make a decision. A top Republican leader in Stanislaus County said he does not expect to see Berryhill’s name on the county election ballot in June 2018.
“He was going to hold a fundraiser (for supervisor) on Aug. 9,” said Supervisor Jim DeMartini, who is chairman of the Republican Central Committee. “We are less than two weeks away and I’ve not heard anything more about it.”
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An appointment to a state board or commission is sometimes an option for termed-out legislators.
Berryhill has not returned messages in the last few weeks to talk about his plans. Monteith, 85, is not expected to seek another term as the county supervisor for District 4, which includes most of Modesto.
Berryhill’s senate district sprawls across all or part of 11 counties including Stanislaus and Tuolumne. Records show he owns a house near Del Rio, making him eligible to run for the county seat.
People had seemed eager for Berryhill to run for Board of Equalization in the 2018 election. According to financial disclosures, the Tom Berryhill for Board of Equalization 2018 committee raised more than $200,000 from last year to June 30.
DeMartini gave $2,500 to Berryhill’s campaign last September, and other big donors were: Modesto attorney J. Wilmar Jensen, $6,500; Gallo Cattle Co. of Atwater, $4,500; Wendel Trinkler Jr. of Ceres, $2,500; Stanislaus Food Products, $2,000; and Harold Agresti of Ceres, $1,000. A Jan. 26 disclosure, showing donations in the previous three months, listed more than $20,000 in checks from corporations and political action committees.
Berryhill reported $100,000 in campaign expenditures this year, leaving him with $61,000 in cash.
His interest in the publicly elected tax board might have waned after most of the board’s responsibilities were stripped following a damning audit released in April. Despite the turmoil and reassignment of employees to other state departments, the 2018 tax board election is still on.
In another potential county race next year, Stanislaus Supervisor Terry Withrow said Friday he will seek a third term. No one else has filed paperwork in Withrow’s district, which includes west Modesto, Salida and the politically sensitive Wood Colony area.
The formal filing period for county offices opens in February. The top two vote-getters in the June primary move on to the November election.
Seven other county elective offices come up next year, including sheriff, district attorney, clerk-recorder, auditor-controller, assessor, treasurer-tax collector and superintendent of schools.
Sheriff Adam Christianson could not be reached Friday regarding his plans for another term.
Modesto attorney Patrick Kolasinski will challenge District Attorney Birgit Fladager in the June primary. Former Supervisor Bill O’Brien plans to run for treasurer-tax collector but will have competition from Donna Riley, the deputy director of the county General Services Agency. Incumbent Gordon Ford is retiring Tuesday almost 18 months before his term expires.
Auditor-Controller Lauren Klein, appointed as interim treasurer-tax collector, is expected to retire when her second term expires in January 2019. Mandip Dhillon and Kashmir Gil have filed candidate intention statements for auditor-controller.
Donna Linder, assistant clerk-recorder, has formed a campaign committee to run for clerk-recorder. Lee Lundrigan has held the office since 2002.
Candidates for county superintendent of schools include Scott Kuykendall, assistant superintendent over educational options, and Donald Davis, superintendent of Waterford Unified School District. Incumbent Tom Changnon will complete a third four-year term.
Assessor Don Gaekle is not opposed thus far.
Ken Carlson: 209-578-2321, @KenCarlson16