Mayor off to races though running alone

No one's trying to unseat Mayor Jim Ridenour this fall, but he's raising money like someone's chasing his heels.

Ridenour has $38,694 in his re-election treasure chest, far more than any candidate running for the Modesto City Council in November.

He raised $35,750 between July 1 and Sept. 27, according documents he filed this week.

A similar fund-raising pattern is emerging in Ceres, where unchallenged incumbent Anthony Cannella leads all candidates with a cash balance of $29,637.

Both mayors plan to hit the streets and put up signs to remind voters to head to the polls Nov. 6.

Cannella said he will donate extra money to other candidates and to an initiative that calls for a sales tax increase to pay for public safety improvements in Ceres.

"It'll be spent in the community, I can tell you that," he said.

In Modesto, Councilman Garrad Marsh, who also faces no challenger this fall, has $18,443 in his coffers. He raised $7,217 over the past five months.

Councilman Brad Hawn has $4,577. He has $24,500 in outstanding personal loans, some of which date to his 2003 campaign.

Hawn is facing off against taxpayer advocate Tom Maher. Maher raised $45 and took out a $1,239 loan.

The four men running to replace outgoing Councilman Bob Dunbar didn't raise much money for their campaigns in the past reporting period.

Attorney Robert Farrace pulled in $2,673 from donors and took out a $5,000 loan. He said he raised another $5,000 since the reporting period closed.

"I think I'm about right," said Farrace, who plans to spend $30,000 for his campaign.

Business account executive Dave Lopez has chosen not to raise more than $1,000 for this campaign, though he has raised more in his previous runs for office.

"Everything feels positive going out knocking on doors and not having to ask folks for money," Lopez said. "Running a few times already, I feel like a lot of folks know my name."

Airport neighborhood activist Robert Stanford raised $50, but said he plans to seek out more donations.

Electrician Brent Maynor had no contributions to report.

Incumbents in a four-way race for two Ceres City Council seats have a fund-raising edge on their opponents.

Councilman Rob Phipps has $7,605 on hand, while incumbent Guillermo Ochoa ends the filing period with $2,345 in the bank.

Newcomer Mike Kline has a cash balance of $1,322, and challenger Steve Breckenridge has $466.

Fund-raising reports for other races still are trickling into the Stanislaus County Clerk's office.

From the records available Friday, Nick Bavaro has $6,325 left in the bank for this bid to unseat Modesto Irrigation District Director Cecil Hensley. Bavaro raised $4,275 and took out a $10,000 loan.

Hensley's fund-raising report was not in the county clerk's office Friday, but he told The Bee earlier in the week that he garnered a similar amount.

Kimberly Spina, a first-time candidate for the Modesto City Schools Board of Education, leads her field with $11,854 in contributions. She has $3,359 on hand.

Fellow candidate Steven Grenbeaux raised $4,000 and has $3,500 left, while school board incumbent Gary Lopez raised $2,754.

Fund-raising reports for four other candidates running for the board's three open seats were not available Friday.

Bee staff writer Adam Ashton can be reached at aashton@modbee.com or 578-2366.