Out of 10 candidates vying for a seat on the Merced County Board of Supervisors, Lloyd Pareira, running for District 4, has raised the most money for his campaign at more than $63,000.
Much of Pareira’s support came from private donations ranging from $100 to $500, including several from dairymen, a donation of $500 from real estate agent Michael Salvadori and a $1,000 donation from Bear Creek Inn.
Merced County Superintendent of Schools Steve Gomes, who endorsed Pareira, also donated $240 to his campaign. So did Fred Honore, a board member for the Merced County Office of Education. Honore is listed as a businessman of H&H Properties on Pareira’s campaign finance documents submitted to Merced County’s election office.
Fundraising totals are based on documents candidates filed with the Merced County Elections Office in May. Many candidates still are receiving contributions, and the totals are likely to change by election day Tuesday.
Pareira wasn’t aware he had raised the most in campaign contributions.
“People understand our vision for Merced County. They also want to see Merced County head in the same direction,” Pareira said. “Not everybody can be supervisor. Most people don’t want to be supervisor. People appreciate that I was willing to step up and make that commitment.”
In contrast, one of Pareira’s competitors, Ramon Prado of Delhi, hasn’t reported any fundraising. He’s done most of his campaigning through social media. The most he’s spent on the campaign with the help of family and friends, he said, was $450 for lawn signs.
“You cant buy votes, and you can’t buy people – either money or knowing people will win,” Prado said. “I wanted to show these people I’m getting a lot of support, not because I’m projecting money, but because of my character and my connection with community. I wanted to show it’s possible to win a campaign by not going through the typical political route. I want to make a campaign of the people and for the people.”
A far second place in fundraising is District 1 Supervisor John Pedrozo, who has raised $37,697. His contributors include state Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres; Greg Hostetler, a local farmer and developer; Pacific Gas and Electric Co.; Salvadori; and a Teamsters political action committee known as Drive.
Pedrozo’s challenger, Livingston Mayor Rodrigo Espinoza, has raised $21,641.58. His donors include the Merced County Deputy Sheriff’s Association; Livingston police Chief Ruben Chavez; and farmer Parguinder Samran, who donated $1,800, according to campaign finance documents.
In District 2, incumbent Hub Walsh has raised the most at $22,448.93. His major contributors are his sister, Susan Walsh, interim president of Merced College; Hostetler; Salvadori; PG&E; and the Teamsters Drive committee.
Lee Lor, another District 2 candidate, raised $11,649.45. Lor’s contributors include lawyers, a college professor, a pharmacist, an investigator for the federal public defender’s office and teachers and administrators from various school districts. Honore, the MCOE board member, donated $300 to Lor, who works for the county Office of Education.
Casey Steed, also running for District 2, officially has raised $801. He listed one donor in his campaign finance documents: Roger Wood, a retiree, who gave $250. But Steed said Wednesday that he planned to file additional contributions: $1,500 from the Police Officers Association of California; $500 from the Merced County DSA; and $500 from the Alia Corp./McDonald’s Franchise of Merced. Steed said the Merced County Association of Realtors pledged $750 to him.
Those last few donations would bring Steed’s total to $4,051.
In Steed’s previous runs for the District 2 seat, he didn’t solicit donations. “I have a very hard time asking for anything other than a person’s vote on election day,” Steed said. “To me, that’s the most invaluable thing anybody can do.”
In District 4, Pareira is running against four other candidates. Of those, former Gustine Mayor Rich Ford has raised the most money at $11,520. His largest supporter is Gustine’s current mayor, Dennis Brazil, who has donated $900 in total, which included $650 worth of auction items. Ford also has the support of current District 4 Supervisor Deidre Kelsey, who donated $500 and endorsed Ford.
“I feel very comfortable seeing him as county supervisor for a district that I’ve served for 21 years,” Kelsey said. “His values are consistent with the district. He’s been in the trenches. He understands the challenges of coming up with a balanced budget.”
Jack Mobley has raised $7,707. His top donor is Stephen Sloan of Sloan Cattle Co., who donated $1,000. Another contributor to Mobley’s campaign is the CEO of Riggs Ambulance Service, Curtis Riggs.
Fidel Cervantes, the 24-year-old Delhi school board president, has raised nearly $4,704.42. Salvador Walle, owner of Mercado Winton, contributed $2,000. Cervantes contributed $500 himself and received a handful of other $100 donations. One of those was from Kara Parle, an owner of the Branding Iron Restaurant in Merced.
Brianna Calix: 209-385-2477
Rodrigo Espinoza: $21,641.58
John Pedrozo (incumbent): $37,697
Lee Lor: $11,649.45
Casey Steed: $4,051
Hub Walsh (incumbent): $22,448.93
Fidel Cervantes: $4,704.42
Rich Ford: $11,520
Jack Mobley: $7,707
Lloyd Pareira: $63,902
Ramon Prado: $450