How much does it cost to run a Merced City Council campaign? If you're Noah Lor or Mike Murphy, a lot.
As of Sept. 24, Lor has far outpaced the other seven council candidates, collecting a total of $28,026 in campaign contributions. Nearly all of his campaigns money -- $25,000 of it -- was collected in the spring and came from individual donations of less than $300 made by people living up and down the Central Valley.
Murphy, meanwhile, has $16,095 in contributions. His biggest donors include the Merced City Firefighters ($2,000), Citizens for the Betterment of Merced County ($1,500), Inmack Foods ($1,000) and the Merced Police Officers Association ($500). He also reported a $2,000 in-kind donation from Valley Sign to provide his campaign yard signs. Other notable donations came from former Merced County Supervisor Kathleen Crookham ($100) and former Atwater city manager Greg Wellman ($200).
Thursday marks the next campaign finance disclosure deadline and we'll soon see just how expensive this race has become.
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Here's a look at the other city council campaigns:
Bill Blake has $12,480 in his campaign coffers for the mayoral seat. According to his filing statement, more than $6,000 of that money came from individual donations of less than $100. His funds also include a $5,000 loan he made to himself. Blake's financial supporters include the Merced City Firefighters PAC, which donated $200 to his campaign.
Tony Dossetti's council campaign has received $12,169, with his largest contribution of $460 coming from Joseph Gallo Farms.
Mayor Bill Spriggs reported $10,780 in contributions in his campaign for reelection, with six donations of $300 each coming from people involved with Modesto-based Lyons Investments. He also reported a $1,000 donation from the law firm of Mason, Robbins, Browning & Godwin, and $500 from Christopher Tyler, chief of staff for State Senator Anthony Canella.
Stan Thurston has received $9,059 in campaign donations, including $500 from the Merced Police Officers Association, $925 from Greg Opinski Construction and $735 from BNL Mortgage. He's also drawn support from businessman and perpetual political candidate Jack Mobley ($200).
Richard Cervantes' campaign has received $3,900, with donations of $2,100 coming from Citizens for the Betterment of Merced County and $500 from the Merced Police Officers Association.
John Carlisle has received $1,585 in total campaign contributions -- nearly all of it donated by local chapters of labor unions. A donation of $1,000 came from the union that represents Merced city employees, while a donation of $500 was made by the local chapter of International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers.
Charles Bolin and Carl Pollard reported no contributions, while Alex Gallardo and Ken Riggleman didn't turn in campaign finance statements.
An earlier version of this post attributed old information to Michele Gabriault-Acosta. Her campaign filing didn't list any contributions for 2011.