WatchSonoma Watch

Cuclis leads fundraising in Sonoma Valley supes race


Candidates vying to replace retiring Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown are off to a relatively slow start in the fundraising race.

Gina Cuclis

Gina Cuclis topped the list of five candidates in the contest for the 1st District supervisorial seat, which takes in Sonoma Valley, the city of Sonoma and parts of eastern Santa Rosa.

The Boyes Hot Springs communications consultant took in $28,315 in the latest reporting period, from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2011, campaign finance reports show.

The donations included $8,027 in non-monetary contributions, including food, a hotel stay, campaign services and other gifts.

Cuclis led the next closest candidate, Sonoma Valley energy consultant Mark Bramfitt, by nearly $13,000.

Mark Bramfitt

Still, her total is quarter of what Mike McGuire collected in the last half of 2009 for his successful 2010 bid for the north county supervisor’s seat. It is a little less than half of what then-Petaluma Mayor Pam Torliatt reported in cash at this time two years ago for her race against fellow councilmember David Rabbitt, who prevailed in the south county supervisor’s race.

In the other two Board of Supervisors seats up for re-election, Efren Carrillo and Shirlee Zane remain unopposed so far.

Carrillo has built up a formidable war chest, with $104,797 raised in the last half of 2011 and $101,748 in the bank. “It allows me to focus on things I need to be focusing on,” Carrillo said, ticking off a list of county issues for the year.

Susan Gorin

Zane took in $16,804 for the period and ends with a cash balance of $49,767. She reported a personal loan of $33,091 to her last campaign that she said she plans to forgive.

In the 1st District, Cuclis, who serves on the county’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Advisory Board, said she was pleased with her campaign’s progress.

She announced her candidacy in June, before other challengers, and credited her success so far to courting small donors throughout her district.

She reported more than 90 donors giving $100 or less in the latest period.

“I’m proud of that,” she said.

John Sawyer

Bramfitt’s tally for the latest period was $15,475.

Santa Rosa Councilwoman Susan Gorin reported a higher figure — $20,648 — but half of that is from a loan Gorin made to her campaign.

The three candidates all are close in the amounts reported for cash on hand, with $18,576 for Bramfitt, $17,490 for Gorin and $15,423 for Cuclis.

Santa Rosa Councilman John Sawyer, meanwhile, lagged far behind in fundraising last year, taking in just $1,050 and ending the period with $579 in the bank.

Sawyer’s campaign adviser Rob Muelrath said the councilman, who launched his run in

Keith Rhinehart

September and is expected to draw support from business, agriculture and real estate interests, just began his fundraising two weeks ago.

Donations have grown considerably since then, Muelrath said. He declined to provide an amount.

Sawyer and Santa Rosa Mayor Ernesto Olivares are currently in Jeju City, South Korea on a goodwill trip.

Bramfitt and Gorin said the results were not a surprise. Both said they expected to ramp up fundraising efforts this month and next with an eye toward spending in April and May, before the June primary.

“We’re getting down to business,” Gorin said of her campaign, which is expected to draw support from organized labor and environmental groups.

Bramfitt, who serves on the board of the Valley of the Moon Water District, said the smaller fundraising figures were to be expected in an era of slimmer wallets.

“I would be surprised if you saw the same amounts being raised, for example, in the Petaluma race,” he said referring to the contest between Rabbitt and Torliatt.

That race set a county record with more than $706,000 in spending, including money spent by independent expenditure committees.

So far, no independent committees have filed in the 1st District race. The Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association has the lone political action committee registered in the contest. It reported no donations this period to any of the candidates.

The fifth entrant, Keith Rhinehart, a former United Parcel Service supervisor and substitute teacher, did not file a report for the latest period because his donations did not top $1,000. The Santa Rosa-area resident said he intends to begin soliciting campaign funds this month.

The first candidates’ forum in the race, a Feb. 15 noon to 2 p.m. event at the Sonoma County Central Library in Santa Rosa, will focus on issues pertaining to children and families, including health care and welfare. It is hosted by the Santa Rosa-based California Parenting Institute.

You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or brett.wilkison@pressdemocrat.com.

11 Responses to “Cuclis leads fundraising in Sonoma Valley supes race”

  1. Ruben says:

    Cuclis is a joke. Too bad the Zane Carrillo show will continue. I was hoping someone had the guts to get rid of those two idiots or at least run a campaign that shows how bad they are.

  2. John Reed says:

    “THE QUESTION”: why so crazy?

  3. Money Grubber says:

    As an addition to my post of Feb 03, I invite you to browse yet another example of your fine criminal government at work.

    Not Sonoma County news, but a criminal government just the same that begs you for more money to enrich themselves every chance they get.


    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s top elections official could lose his job and his freedom after jurors convicted him of multiple voter fraud-related charges on Saturday, leaving in flux the fate of one of the state’s most powerful positions.

  4. The Oracle says:

    At least the PD is consistent, leading with the fundraising leaders even when they know the two early fundraisers don’t have a chance.

  5. Money Grubber says:

    Yep. The headline below is today’s news. Just another example of your criminal government and what they do behind their insincere smiles ans assurances that they have our best interests in mind.

    “”A former Rosemead, CA, city official now running for a state Assembly seat has agreed to plead guilty to a federal charge of soliciting and accepting more than $10,000 in bribes from a developer.””

  6. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I wouldn’t vote for John Sawyer myself, but compared to other Republicans running across the United States, he’s at least sane.

    When I look at the Republican candidates running for President I’m in despair. Huntsman, the only viable candidate in my opinion, dropped out of the race because he is perceived by the right as a moderate and he’s not. I guess it’s those children from other countries he adopted makes him look like a moderate. But at least he’s worldly, been and lived in other countries and talks sensibly.

    Being in the first district I haven’t decided yet but I know it won’t be Sawyer or any other right wing candidate.

  7. Anderson says:

    Once again, the thundering herd of mindless liberals rush in to support the D candidates.

    The flavor may change, but the Kool-Aid remains the same.

  8. Social Dis-Ease says:

    This ambiguous ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’,
    ‘green’ thread that over spends, seems to have more allegiance with some ‘ism’ instead of the People, or our Property Rights, our Small Business. Seem to march to a beat that isn’t in step with what the People are really asking for.

    It can be defined.

    It is ICLEI adherant ideology.
    These public officials are ICLEI Collaborators.

    Agents of change.

    Each ICLEI Charter has a liason with ICLEI.
    Who’s ours?
    Very likely Susan Gorin.
    Why should we have to guess?
    Why is this allegiance with a globalist NGO such a secret?

    Any well meaning public official should be proud to share with us what they are up to.

    It is vitally important to the framework in which we judge our prospective public officials.
    It is vitally important to our future that we know where these people stand.

    Do they want to stand with the People.
    Do they stand with ICLEI.

    Our intention is not to be adversarial.
    Our intention is not to be vindictive.

    Our intention is to restore what we had.

    Restore the Free Market.

    Restore our Civil Rights.

    Restore what is being taken.

    Look, what do you do when someone important to you loses their way?
    Gets involved with the wrong crowd?
    Gets involved with a bad habit?
    Violates an agreement or a rule?

    You often have an intervention.

    THAT is very much what THE QUESTION is about.

    It is time for the People to intervene.

    All we want is for our leaders to be our leaders.
    Lead, not follow these evil globalists and their Agenda.
    All we want is for them to adhere to the Constitution.
    All we want is for them to adhere to their oath.

    This Agenda 21/Sustainable Development/ICLEI/ABAG et all crap is what’s really wrong folks.

    That Left/Right crap is distraction and charade.

    One of three things is going on with our current and prospective future officials.
    A). They don’t know what’s really up.
    B). They are evil.
    C). They have been brain washed.

    One thing’s for sure, we’re gonna eliminate ‘A’.

    We need to ask these candidates.

    We need to ask ourselves.

    Join us Feb. 14th at City Council as we all ask…

  9. John Reed says:

    Hey, you have your guy in the race! John Sawyer is the conservative, backed by the Chamber. Granted, he’s not a fire-breathing right-wing culture warrior, but he’s the Right’s candidate in this race.

  10. Ricardo Sorentino says:

    RE: Sitting By the Intersection – “This is what happens when you have a liberal local paper, very liberal news from San Francisco and the only drum beat is the carping from the left.”

    Your forgetting the biggest part of the problem: all the liberal people here in Sonoma County and California that only vote for people with a ‘D’ as in ‘Democrat’, attached to their name. And they’ll vote for literally anyone with a ‘D’ so as to vote against anyone with an ‘R’.

    Everyone likes to complain about city, county and state government, but for the most part, what party has held all the power? Even when we had Arnold in office, what good did it do… he couldn’t pass anything with all the Democrats blocking his every move. The D-party is too beholden to unions like SEIU. When was the last time you saw that SEIU donated money to any conservative or Republican, or recommended one for political office? SEIU had no problem taking my mandated union dues and donating to any and every Democrat, along with sending me a ‘newsletter’ telling me exactly who and how to vote on every election. SEIU computers probably can’t even type the word ‘Republican’.

    So, dig deep… no, a little deeper… not enough, a little deeper into your pocket to keep big government even bigger. Did you take note on a recent SMART article that stated that one possibility for additional funding might be to ask for another quarter point in sales tax? Find me one Democrat that will say ‘no’.

  11. Sitting By the Intersection says:

    Can someone save this county from these spending liberals? Are there no conservatives out there who wants to go up against these left wingers?

    It is too bad the only choice is a big spender, public union backed candidate whose only interest is forwarding the liberal agenda. This is what happens when you have a liberal local paper, very liberal news from San Francisco and the only drum beat is the carping from the left.