By LORI A. CARTER
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The Petaluma City Council election is almost two years away, but three candidates already are on the campaign trail raising money.
Three council seats and the separately elected mayor’s position will be on the Nov. 4, 2014 ballot.
Councilman Mike Harris, seeking his fourth consecutive term on the council, has $11,300 in the bank, the most as of Jan. 1, according to semi-annual campaign finance reports released this week.
Pam Torliatt, who served 10 years on the council and four years as mayor, has a $4,400 balance. She is seeking a return to the council after being out of office since 2010, when she ran unsuccessfully for county supervisor.
Mayor David Glass has $8,200 cash on hand, $5,000 of which came from a personal loan to his campaign for reelection.
No other candidates have filed forms with the city declaring their intentions to seek election in 2014.
In addition to the mayoral post, the council seats of Harris, Teresa Barrett and Chris Albertson set to expire in 2014.
Harris wouldn’t confirm political rumors that he will challenge Glass for mayor. He said this week he will make an announcement soon.
Glass is seeking a third term as mayor. He was elected to the post in 2002. In 2008, he was elected to the council, then ran mid-term for mayor in 2010.
Torliatt was elected to the Petaluma council in 1996, then reelected in 2000 and 2004. She quit her council post mid-term after being elected mayor in 2006.
Though it may be early for campaigning, candidates are beginning to get the word out about their intentions and recently have had a few low-key fund-raising events.
The most recent campaign contribution disclosures show Harris with a wide lead, including $5,000 from the first half of 2012. Torliatt and Glass started raising funds in earnest in December.
From July through December, Harris raised $7,200, including notable contributions of the $200 maximum from retired Clover Stornetta executive Gary Imm, Petaluma retiree Dick Sharke, Petaluma KOA campground manager Pauline Wood, Friedman’s Home Improvement owner Bill Friedman, his wife Susan Friedman, real estate agent Clayton Engstrom and Jericho Products owner Barbara Lind.
Other top donors to Harris include: Bill White, chairman of Basin Street Properties; Walter Haake, who owns Foundry Wharf properties; and Veale Investment Properties of Santa Rosa.
Of the $4,900 Torliatt has raised since August, contributors include maximum amounts from Glass, Barrett, Barrett’s husband John Cota, Healdsburg activist Warren Watkins and Greg Reisinger of the political group Petaluma Tomorrow. She received $100 from the campaign of Michael Allen for Assembly and $199.92 from Timothy Smith, an administrative law judge from Sacramento.
Torliatt also received $200 contributions from Barbara Woolmington-Smith of Woolmington-Smith Ventures of Orinda, which manages the Plaza North shopping center in Petaluma; Kathy Butlin of the same company; and from Plaza North itself.
Glass took in $3,600, all in December. Notable contributors include: $100 from Allen’s campaign; $200 each from Barrett, Cota, Torliatt, Reisinger, Smith, Watkins and Torliatt’s company, Superior Systems.
Both Glass and Torliatt received $460 in contributions from Barry Bussewitz, a Solano professor who lives in Petaluma, his wife Janine Castles and their son, Devin.
(Contact Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 762-7297 or email@example.com.)