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Suzanne Besú Truchard tops Napa County Board of Supervisor candidate fundraising

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Election 2022

Suzanne Besú Truchard remains the top fundraiser among 10 candidates competing in two separate Napa County Board of Supervisors races on the June 7 primary ballot.

Truchard since January 2021 has raised $235,985 for her campaign, according to papers filed with the county Registrar of Voters. She is among four candidates competing for the 1st District seat that includes the central portion of the city of Napa and the Carneros region.

Other candidates are county Planning Commissioner Joelle Gallagher, Saintsbury winery co-founder David Graves and businessman Garrett Hale.

Anne Cottrell is the top fundraiser among the six candidates seeking the 3rd District seat that includes the heart of Napa Valley, from northeast Napa to Calistoga. She since January 2021 reported raising $204,881.

Other candidates are St. Helena City Councilmember Anna Chouteau, Yountville Mayor John Dunbar, retired biotech executive Matt Hooper, farmer Cio Perez and Napa Valley College Trustee Rafael Rios.

Campaign disclosure papers allow citizens to see who is contributing to each campaign and how much. They also show how the campaigns are spending money.

No contributor can give more than $4,900 to a candidate's campaign, with the county Board of Supervisors enacting the limit last year.

Apparently, there’s a learning curve. Truchard on her forms reported Naoko Dalla Valle of Dalla Valle Vineyards gave her campaign $4,000 last year and $2,900 this year, for total of $6,900. That is over the allowed amount.

Reached for comment, Truchard said the donor didn’t know she had already contributed the maximum when making the latest contribution. The campaign returned the money, she said.

Candidates had an April 28 deadline to file campaign financial disclosure papers for Jan. 1 through April 23, 2022. The Napa Valley Register combined the reported donations during this period with last year’s totals, given many of the candidates did much of their fundraising for the election last year.

First District

Truchard — Truchard reported raising $235,985 and spending $127,285.

Recent contributions include $4,500 from Firetree Vineyards, LLC, $2,900 from Darius Anderson, CEO of Platinum Advisors, LLC, $2,400 from Boisset Collection and $1,500 from Todd Walker, CEO of C-Line Express.

Gallagher — Gallagher reported raising $149,107 and spending $93,579.

Recent contributions include $3,900 from Lisa Strode of 723 Productions, Inc., $1,500 from Northern California Carpenters Regional Council Small Contributor Committee and $1,064 apiece from Dick Wollack of Napa, Mary Ann Moffitt of Yountville, Richard Seiferheld of St. Helena, Mark Strode of Napa, Leslie Richmond of Napa and Lisa Massaro, CEO of Healthy Buildings Management Group.

Graves — Graves reported raising $64,838 and spending $30,687.

Recent contributions included $2,900 from Tony LeBlanc, president of Silver Oak Cellars; $1,500 from vintner Darioush Khaledi and $1,000 from former county Planning Commissioner Bob Fiddaman.

Hale — Hale reported raising $25,115 and spending $24,273.

Recent contributions included $4,900 from real estate agent Mark Lesti, $1,500 from Mark Gasster of Napa and $1,000 apiece from Ming Quan of San Francisco and attorney Darren Enenstein of Los Angeles. Hale has loaned his campaign $9,900.

Third District

Cottrell — Cottrell reported raising $204,881 and spending $62,104.

Recent contributions include $4,900 from Diane Wilsey of San Francisco, $2,500 apiece from vineyard manager Pete Richmond and Steve Merrill of Merco Ventures, $2,000 from winery owner Larry Turley and $1,000 apiece from vintner Beth Milliken, vintner Shari Staglin and Terrence McGrath, developer of Watson Ranch in American Canyon.

Dunbar — Dunbar reported raising $190,544 and spending $90,702.

Recent contributions include $4,900 apiece from real estate agent Jennifer Long, vintner Leslie Frank, Stuart Tom of Calabasas and Joe Schoendorf of St. Helena, $4,000 from Balloons Above the Valley, $3,000 from Mike Davis of Davis Estates and $2,400 from Boisset Collection.

Chouteau — Chouteau reported raising $103,686 and spending $80,431.

Recent contributions include $900 from Chris Chouteau of San Francisco and $500 apiece from Mike Liddle, CEO of Pathion Inc., Andrea Wollack of Napa and Ali True of San Francisco.

Chouteau last year reported receiving $4,899 apiece from Craig and Kathryn Hall. The Halls are spearheading the controversial, proposed Walt Ranch vineyard development. Chouteau said during an April 14 candidates forum that her husband works for the Halls and that she’s long known Kathryn Hall. If an elected supervisor, she would not vote on any issue involving Walt Ranch.

Hooper — Hooper reported raising $73,702 and spending $69,418. He reported contributing $48,000 to his own campaign. Candidates are limited to loaning their campaigns $10,000, but can donate as much as they want.

Perez — Perez reported raising $31,675 and spending $19,714.

Recent contributions include $2,400 from Ron Rhyno of Napa and $500 from Frank Kovacevic of Venika International, LLC.

Rios — Rios reported raising $25,300 and spending $17,015. All of his fundraising was from last year.


Napa County Farm Bureau — The Napa County Farm Bureau has a political action committee. It since January 2021 has raised $83,950 and spent $55,269. The $4,900 contribution limits to candidates doesn’t apply.

Recent contributions are listed as $15,000 from Emmolo River Ranch, LLC of Rutherford (Jenny Wagner), $15,000 from Mer Et Soleil, LLC of Rutherford (Charlie F. Wagner) and $10,000 from Charles J. Wagner of Caymus Vineyards.

Expenditures include print adds in support of Dunbar, Truchard and Sheriff's candidate Oscar Ortiz.

Measure L — Measure L is a proposed, quarter-cent local sales tax increase to raise money for Napa County fire prevention efforts. The pro-Measure L campaign is being funded by Taxpayers for Fire Prevention Supporting Measure L.

The group reported raising $103,800 and spending $50,784. Contributions include $25,000 from Napa Valley Vintners and $5,000 apiece from Schramsberg Vineyards, Supervisor Ryan Gregory for Napa County Supervisor 2020, vintner Charles McMinn, Land Trust of Napa County, vintner Richard Frank, Chappellet winery, Alpha Omega winery, Darioush winery, Gargiulo Vineyards LLC, Silver Oak, vintner Robert Torres, Favia Erickson Winegrowers, LLC and Rick Jones of Calistoga.

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Napa County Reporter

Barry Eberling covers Napa County government, transportation, the environment and general assignments. He has worked for the Napa Valley Register since fall 2014 and previously worked 27 years for the Daily Republic of Fairfield.

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