By JEREMY HAY
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The challenger in Cotati’s election for City Council is by far the biggest spender in the race, the latest campaign finance reports show.
George Barich, trying to reclaim a seat he lost in a 2009 recall election, has spent $4,285 on his campaign, according to the reports, which cover the period from July 1 to Sept. 30.
That’s more than double the amount spent by Councilman Pat Gilardi to hold on to her seat. Gilardi, who joined the council in 2002, has spent $1,584.
The reports show she has $1,635 left in her campaign account.
Asked if she planned to spend more heavily in the campaign’s final month, Gilardi laughed.
“This is Cotati,” she said, indicating she would not.
Councilman Mark Landman, appointed in 2009 to fill the seat vacated by former mayor Jon Guardino, who resigned, has spent $891. But he has the most in the bank to spend before the Nov. 2 election.
“I have more plans for voter outreach, said Landman, who has $3,985 in his campaign war chest.
“It’s all about communication,” he said. “If you can’t communicate the good job the city’s done this year, nobody’s going to know. So that’s what I plan to do.”
Gilardi’s and Landman’s seats are up for grabs.
Barich’s finance reports show that he loaned himself all of his campaign money, $5,000, and has $715 remaining.
He said he expects to be outspent by his opponents.
“A lot of the spending will be done by the candidates in the last few weeks of the election,” he said. “And I’m expecting my opponents to exceed my spending twofold.”
Nevertheless, he said, his spending to date, as well as door-to-door campaigning, have positioned him well.
“I think I’m the favorite candidate right now,” he said. “I’m expecting to be the top vote-getter.”
Notable Gilardi contributors include Petaluma Mayor and 2nd District supervisorial candidate Pam Torliatt, $100; Cotati Mayor Robert Coleman-Senghor, $350; and the Northern California Carpenters union, $350.
She loaned her campaign $350.
Landman’s donors include Torliatt, $100; Coleman-Senghor, $350; Cotati Vice-Mayor Janet Orchard, $350; and Oliver’s Market, $350. Family members gave him $450.