Easy come, easy go
Candidates in the Nevada County Supervisorial races are spending money as fast as it is coming in, according to campaign finance reports released Friday.
In the past few weeks, as the Nov. 2 election draws near, candidates have been busy holding final fund-raisers, sending out mailers and postcards, and paying media outlets for coverage.
District 1 candidate Nate Beason said he thinks his spending habits can clue residents in to his fiscal abilities once in office.
“We are trying to shepherd the money (we receive as donations) as well as possible. I believe as an elected official, you should do the same,” he said.
Beason’s financial records show he has more money left in his coffers than any other candidate, though he didn’t raise the most money. With the $13,097 he has left, Beason said he plans to use it to reach his voters through the media. In fact, this way of reaching out appears to be Beason’s preferred method, since he spent $7,694 on advertising with The Union and KNCO radio in the past two weeks.
One of Beason’s opponents, candidate Olivia Diaz, may have a fatter earnings total than Beason, bringing in $29,154 more, but she has been less reliant on cash. Almost half of Diaz’ donations have come in the form of non-monetary contributions such as rugs, dinners at area restaurants, and other items for auction. Diaz attributed the donations to her “grassroots appeal. I see myself as a people’s candidate.”
Diaz said she would not discuss how she plans to spend the rest of the money in her bank until election day, but her records show she has relied significantly on mailers to residents.
“The cost of print and postage to reach 14,000 voters is onerous,” she said.
Diaz also has a campaign headquarters on Spring Street in Nevada City, and some of her expenses have gone to rent and electrical bills. Beason said he has saved money by using his home and having friends help him put up campaign signs.
Jean Gerard, a write-in candidate in the District 1 race, did not file a campaign finance report. Candidates who raise less than $1,000 are not required to do so. This also applies to District 3 write-in candidate Jedediah Biagi.
The other candidates for District 3 – John Spencer, Linda Stevens and Bruce Conklin – have been spending in spending mode recently. Stevens and Conklin’s financial reports look similar. Both have raised under $20,000, and each has spent all but about $4,000. On the other hand, Spencer has spent almost all the $50,461 he has raised. He has $963 left to spend and an outstanding debt of $1,000.
Stevens said she does not anticipate having any money left at the end of the race.
“I may have $1,000 left and part of it is going for the party on election night,” she said.
Conklin said he still relies on his volunteers and spends most of his money on phone banking and headquarters office expenses. Conklin said both his expenditures and donations are less than half of what it was when he ran for the same seat in 2002 because: “I am very well known to the voters because I have walked the precincts several times. We like to run that sort of campaign, it requires some money, but not as much.”
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