Merced Council campaigns hit Facebook

The campaigning for Merced City Council is already going strong -- at least on Facebook.

Tony Dossetti fired the first shot more than three months ago, when he created a Facebook page to support his campaign. The retired police chief's page has already managed to snag 86 "likes" and on it he claims a number of endorsements from Mercedians, including former councilman Jim Sanders. Dossetti also already launched a separate website for his campaign.

Noah Lor, meanwhile, has changed the avatar of his personal Facebook profile to an image of his campaign sign.

Stanley Thurston, who is running for mayor, has a Facebook event announcing a campaign kickoff fundraiser on July 28 in which he's asking supporters for donations of at least $10. On his personal page, which is viewable to the public, Thurston cites a recent Forbes Magazine survey that put Merced in last place among business-and-career-friendly communities: "Being last is inexcusable," he wrote.

And yesterday, after Thurston took out the candidacy papers necessary to run for election, he wrote: "Four took out papers for Mayor of Merced. Bill Spriggs, Michele Gabriault-Acosta, Bill Blake and me. If the voters think the City is headed in the right direction I suppose one of them is the right choice. If voters want new ideas I am the choice."