Assemblywoman Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, has raised far more money than her two rivals bidding to replace retiring state Sen. Pat Wiggins.
Evans, who will be forced out of her seat by term limits at the end of the year, has raised close to $115,500 for the race, according to campaign finance reports filed Feb. 1. She reported spending more than $82,000 on her campaign to represent a senate district stretching over six North Coast counties, including Napa.
Her biggest contributors include labor unions, wine interests and American Indian tribes.
“I’m grateful for the support we’ve received from community leaders and residents who recognize the work I’ve done in the Assembly and want to see me represent them in the state Senate,” Evans said in a written statement through her campaign consultant, Whitehurst/Mosher Campaign Strategy and Media of San Francisco. “I will raise as much money as needed to get the message out to voters that I will continue creating green jobs locally, fighting for children and families, protecting the environment and reforming the budget process,” she added.
Sonoma City Councilwoman Joanne Bouldt Sanders, a Democrat who co-owns a temporary staffing service with offices in Sonoma and American Canyon, raised $28,000 and spent $12,000 on her campaign in 2009, according to campaign finance reports on file with the California Secretary of State.
On Friday, Sanders said she is determined to win election and end partisan gridlock in Sacramento. She is proud of the 100-plus individual donors to her campaign.
“I’m very passionate about the need for change,” said Sanders.
David Rosas, a member of the Roseland School District in Santa Rosa, said he has raised less than $1,000. He decided to run before Wiggins announced her retirement. “I was the first person who spoke up,” he said, referring to concerns about Wiggins’ health and ability to effectively serve.
Rosas, a Democrat, decided to stay on after Wiggins announced her plans not to run again in order to give voters a choice, he said. “People in power right now are not doing their job,” Rosas said.
Six for the 7th
The race to replace Evans in the Assembly has drawn six candidates: Four Democrats, a Republican and a Libertarian.
The district includes all of Napa County and parts of Sonoma and Solano counties.
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Michael Allen of Santa Rosa, a district director for Wiggins and labor mediator, has raised the most money so far.
Allen, a Democrat who has endorsements from Wiggins and Evans, raised nearly $108,700 and has spent about $65,600, his financial filings indicate. His biggest contributors are labor unions.
“Our lead in money raised, number of contributors and endorsements reflects broad support for the progressive values espoused by our campaign, “ Allen said in a written statement through Whitehurst/Mosher. “We will raise as much money as we need to spread the word about sustainable job growth and environmental protection as voters begin to focus on the June primary.”
Vallejo City Councilman Michael Wilson, a chief financial officer at ARC Inc. Architects of Benicia, raised more than $50,000 and spent about $7,600. His biggest donors include the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce. Wilson, a Democrat, could not be reached for comment.
Lee Pierce, a business consultant in Santa Rosa, raised close to $35,000 and spent about $21,000. His donations, he noted, ranged from $9.60 to $3,900 from Vera Trinchero Torres of Trinchero Family Estates in St. Helena.
On Friday, Pierce said he and his volunteers are walking precincts. He’s knocking on doors and has formed a fundraising team, he added. “I have roots in every part of the district,” said Pierce, a St. Helena High School graduate.
Doris Gentry, a Napa resident and the sole Republican running in the June primaries, on Thursday said she has not raised “a dime” in the short time since she announced her candidacy. “We’re just opening our account,” said Gentry, who ran unsuccessfully for Evans’ seat in 2008. She said she hopes to raise $200,000 for her campaign.
Also running are Democratic candidate Bill Jose Uriarte, a chiropractor from Rohnert Park, and Libertarian candidate Kathryn Moore of Santa Rosa.
Moore said she has spent $518.90 of her own money. “I will raise money as soon as I’m guaranteed to be on the ballot so that I can show my constituents I am the capable candidate they deserve. I don’t take contributions lightly, especially in these tough economic times,” Moore said in an e-mail.
“I decided to run for State Assembly to do as much as I can to end the madness in Sacramento, and help give Californians the freedom they deserve. There’s no way I could sit back and just complain — I’m the type that has to take action to right the wrongs,” she said.
Uriarte, who is a Democrat, could not be reached for comment.
Under state campaign laws, candidates who raise less or spend less than $1,000 do not have to file campaign finance reports with the California Secretary of State. The statewide primary election is June 8.