By BRETT WILKISON
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The money race between the two candidates vying for Sonoma County’s 1st District Board of Supervisors seat has narrowed in October.
Susan Gorin still trails rival John Sawyer by more than $60,000 in contributions received since the start of the year. But Gorin eclipsed Sawyer in the latest reporting period, from October 1 to October 20, pulling in $40,641, or $8,238 more than Sawyer, campaign finance records show.
The two are long-time political opposites on the Santa Rosa City Council, and their sometimes bitter rivalry there has spilled over into the county race to decide who replaces retiring Supervisor Valerie Brown.
Sawyer’s larger overall campaign chest allowed him to continue to outspend Gorin, shelling out $58,039 in the latest period to the $31,620 spent by Gorin’s campaign.
Sawyer’s spending to date in the race also dwarfs Gorin’s. He has spent $264,660 to her $175,915.
But Gorin showed more money in the bank entering the race’s final stretch, with $53,299 on hand compared with the $11,095 reported by Sawyer.
The 1st District, represented by Brown since 2002, includes Sonoma Valley east to the Napa County line, the city of Sonoma and the unincorporated communities of Kenwood and Glen Ellen, and eastern Santa Rosa.
Sawyer has maintained a fundraising edge throughout the race, which began more than a year ago, and heated up when the two Santa Rosa politicians advanced from the June primary. Gorin was the top vote-getter, edging Sawyer by less than 200 votes.
Sawyer this year has raised $281,866, including a $16,300 loan.
His largest contributions in the latest period were $2,625 each from the Sonoma County Alliance, a coalition of local business interests, PG&E Corp., Wine Country Party and Events LLC and the Sonoma County Law Enforcement Association.
After the period closed, Sawyer reported a contribution of $2,625 from C. R. Federick Inc., a North Bay engineering and electrical contractor.
Gorin this year has raised $218,421, including a $10,000 loan.
Her largest contributions this period included $2,700 from Jean Schulz, widow of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz; $2,625 from the Sheet Metal Worker’s Local Union 104 and $2,725 from the Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee.
Outside spending has picked up in the race. Two groups opposing Gorin have spent a total of more than $58,000 to date on mailers. They include a Los Angeles-based real estate committee with ties to the North Bay Association of Realtors. The committee has spent nearly $44,000 on material opposing Gorin.
The other anti-Gorin group, dubbed the Sonoma Jobs Action League, has spent over $14,000. It is backed primarily by the Sonoma County Alliance and the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area.
The group opposing Sawyer, called the Coalition for a Better Sonoma County, has reported independent expenditures of more than $16,000 during the latest period. Its spending to date in the race totals more than $58,000. It is backed primarily by Local 1021 of the Service Employees International Union, the county’s largest labor group.
(You can reach Staff Writer Brett Wilkison at 521-5295 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)