Financial disclosure statements made public last week show that Bruce McPherson, candidate for County Supervisor, has amassed over $118,000 in campaign contributions, more than twice his nearest rival for the 5th District seat and more than all of the other candidates in the other two district races combined.
The former Sentinel editor has easily broken all spending records for a local Santa Cruz County campaign however little of the money raised seems to have come from voters in the 5th District. Less than $3,000 came from residents in the communities along the Hwy 9 corridor: Felton, Ben Lomond, Brookdale and Boulder Creek. Scotts Valley residents account for less than 5% of his total.
Eric Hammer’s campaign disclosed $47,023 raised through the filing deadline of May 17th. Zach Friend running in the 2nd District reported raising $49,223 and John Leopold in the 1st District had contributions totaling $21,173.
McPherson, the Pasatiempo Republican and former state legislator, is hoping to become the first Santa Cruz resident ever to represent the predominantly San Lorenzo Valley District. He would also be the first Republican elected since 1978 when Pat Liberty won the seat in a recall election with 35% of the vote.
Since entering politics in 1993, McPherson has competed in over a dozen races, raising close to $7 million in the process. In 2002, while serving in the State Senate he ran for and won the Republican primary for Lt Governor and despite raising $2.7 million he lost in the general election. In 2006, as the appointed, incumbent Secretary of State, he ran for and won the GOP’s primary but again, after raising over $2 million, he lost in the general election.
The Supervisors election will likely be decided on Tuesday. Although four candidates names will appear on the ballot it has become a two person race between McPherson and Hammer. Susan Weber never actively campaigned but withdrew too late for her name to be removed. Bill Smallman has been actively seeking support but seems to have gained little traction. To avoid a November runoff a candidate needs 50% plus one vote to become Supervisor.