Firth outpaces opponents in campaign funding |

Firth outpaces opponents in campaign funding

In the race for three open seats on the Grass Valley City Council, challenger Jim Firth is leading the pack in campaign funds.

Firth, chairman of the Nevada County Democratic Central Committee with three decades of experience as a union negotiator, has brought in $5,529 over the course of the election thus far — $4,000 more than any other candidate, according to campaign finance disclosure documents filed Thursday.

Of that amount, Firth has spent $4,177, giving him a balance of $1,352 heading into the last leg of the campaign, which almost matches the total funds raised of the second largest campaign chest in the race.

Howard Levine, former executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association, raised the second most among the six candidates with $1,370 in total campaign contributions as of Oct. 20, according to his disclosure documents.

Firth and Levine, along with fellow contenders Patricia Tureaud and Justin Gross, are vying for three open seats against two incumbents, Mayor Jan Arbuckle and Councilwoman Lisa Swarthout.

Councilwoman Yolanda Cookson is not seeking re-election.

Swarthout, Tureaud and Gross were not required to file campaign finances disclosures because they did not receive campaign contributions, they told The Union Thursday.

Arbuckle, a retired Sacramento County deputy sheriff, was the third and last candidate to file finance disclosures during the October period. She spent $196 from Oct. 1 through Oct. 20 after she received $671 in contributions during that same time period.

Firth’s largest contribution comes from the Nevada County Democratic Committee for which he is chair, which donated $1,000 in October; he also had $1,144 in unitemized donations less than $100.

In the previous campaign filing period, Firth was given $1,000 from Laborers Local, an organization with a Sacramento address. Firth also loaned himself $2,000 in that period. A campaign disclosure form filed Sept. 6 also listed a $1,000 self loan.

Among his expenditures, Firth doled out a cumulative $2,045 for campaign literature sent through the mail.

Levine’s largest outside contributor is Larkspur resident Jennifer Wallace, who contributed $250 during the July and September period.

Locally, Levine shows a $250 contribution to himself, which matches his largest overall donation from Wallace. David Jones, his campaign treasurer, contributed $150 for the second largest donation. The other four contributions to Levine’s campaign were $100 or less from private residents. He also shows $323 in unitemized contributions.

Levine’s more than $1,000 in expenditures are not itemized in his campaign disclosure forms.

Brian Arbuckle, a retired Sheriff’s sergeant in South Carolina, was Jan Arbuckle’s lone contributor in this period, donating $100 to the campaign of the mayor, his former wife. Arbuckle started the period with $163. In the previous campaign period, covering July to September, Arbuckle’s only loan was $250 from herself.

Arbuckle’s total for expenditures on the campaign is $447, the largest of which was $164 for the purchase of remittance envelopes, used to collect finances.

The top three vote-getters will secure the open council seats, taking office at the governing body’s first meeting in December.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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