Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Taking the Fifth: Win or Lose, McPherson Will Make History

Since former Republican state legislator and Secretary of State, Bruce McPherson, first announced his candidacy for County Supervisor, we’ve been speculating that the race for the fifth district seat could become the most expensive in Santa Cruz County history. The County Elections office today released campaign financial disclosure statements which leave little doubt that the Santa Cruz native will raise - and we assume spend - more money in this election than has ever been seen in a county wide contest.

McPherson is seeking a seat on the five member County Board as the representative from the predominantly San Lorenzo Valley District. He reported raising $47,882 in the period between November 20th and December 31. That’s about $1,100 a day flowing into his coffers. The primary is June 5 and the general election is in November.

McPherson raised $3,875 from Scotts Valley residents including the maximum $400 each from City Council members Dene Bustichi and Jim Reed who both flirted with running for the Board themselves. Most of his donors are Santa Cruz City or County residents with about 10% of his money coming from outside the area. The report lists only 3 residents from the San Lorenzo Valley however that number is sure to increase as he has lately been seen spending time walking neighborhoods in Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek.

Boulder Creek Recreation and Park District board member, Eric Hammer, who lives in Brookdale, reported raising $17,437 in the same period. Hammer’s numbers would be more impressive absent McPherson. Current Board President John Leopold who is running from the 1st District and has enjoyed strong backing from establishment progressives raised $14,349 in his re-election bid thus far. In the other race, to fill the seat being vacated by Ellen Pirie, County School Board member Vic Marani reported raising $8,615. Marani has since dropped out of the race and none of the other candidates reported raising any money prior to the 12/31 reporting deadline.

Over 90% of Hammer’s cash is coming from residents of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond and Felton. He had three out of county donors.

Candidates are required by law to report contributions twice a year, on 12/31 and 6/30 so money raised between now and the June 5th election will not be known until July 1.

The other candidates for the 5th District seat, John Abel, Bill Smallman, Susan Weber and George Wylie all indicated they received no campaign contributions prior to the end of the year.

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