By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Incumbency has helped Petaluma City Council candidates in their fund-raising efforts, with those already in power filling most of the top spots in the money race.
Candidates are also becoming more defined by their financial backers, as listed in fund-raising reports filed at the end of business Tuesday. The reports detail contributions from July through September.
Four council seats, including that of the separately elected mayor, are up for grabs in the Nov. 2 election.
Two incumbents, Mike Harris and Teresa Barrett, are seeking reelection, while seven others are challenging.
Harris leads overall in fund-raising, with $20,446 in contributions to date this year, including $5,724 this reporting period. He leads all candidates with $14,600 cash to spend in the final stretch.
Barrett reported raising $17,270 since July and has $5,470 on hand.
Calling cash on hand “the most important factor in the final month of the campaign,” Harris said he feels confident in his effort for a third four-year term.
“It allows you to continue to get your message out. I’ve had a positive message of economic revitalization throughout the campaign and will continue with that. I feel like I’m in good shape based on my personal cash on hand.”
In the mayor’s race, David Glass leads Jeff Mayne in total contributions, $14,944 to $10,940, including $2,000 in loans to Glass. He has $3,860 to spend in the final few weeks, compared with Mayne’s $2,812.
Ray Johnson reported $9,110 in contributions in this period, for a total of $20,410, including $15,000 in loans. He has $10,058 cash on hand. Chris Albertson raised $7,704 for a total of $12,004, with $3,130 remaining. Wyatt Bunker has raised a total of $7,328, including $6,000 in loans, and has $2,351 cash.
Jason Davies has a bit more cash, $2,752, from a total of $5,190 in contributions. Former Councilwoman Karen Nau has raised $2,895, $1,350 since July, and has $726 left. Gabe Kearney reported the least cash left, $188, from $1,854 in total funds raised.
The type of contributors clearly divides the candidates between progressive and building interests in all four races.
For mayor, Glass received contributions, most at the maximum $200 amount, from progressive and environmental interests including: former county supervisor Ernie Carpenter, former Rohnert Park councilman Tim Smith, former councilwoman Janice Cader-Thomson, Petaluma Tomorrow, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1575, Teresa Barrett, her husband John Cota, Petaluma Mayor Pam Torliatt and three members of her family.
Many of Mayne’s notable contributions come from those in the construction and business industries and local businesses: Richard Ghilotti, several representatives from Basin Street Properties, Royal Petroleum, River City Communications, Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, MoYo’s Frozen Yogurt and Pfendler Ranches. The largest Petaluma city employees union, AFSCME Local #675, contributed the maximum.
Harris also received numerous contributions from builders and developers, including DRG Builders, North Bay Construction, Renesis Development, Midstate Construction, Amalgamated Transit Union, North Bay Labor Council COPE and Operating Engineers #3.
Barrett and Davies, who are cross-endorsing each other and both supported by Glass and Torliatt, shared some contributors, including Petaluma Tomorrow with the maximum amount.
Barrett also reported contributions from Warren Watkins of Healdsburg Citizens for Sustainable Solutions, Santa Rosa Mayor Susan Gorin, Sebastopol councilman Larry Robinson, Cader-Thompson, former Petaluma councilwoman Jane Hamilton, Marty Bennett of the Living Wage Coalition, Smith of Rohnert Park and Bill and Lucy Kortum.
Notable contributors to Davies include: North Bay Labor Council COPE, IBEW Local #551, Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee, Barrett, Torliatt and Glass.
Albertson and Johnson share some contributors with Harris, including construction and developer-interests.
Three candidates — James Bellefeuille, Chris Kilgore and Jezra Johnson — reported they will raise and spend less than $1,000. They haven’t attended any of the community forums.