Horne leads in election fund-raising
With $16,536 in her campaign fund, Nevada County Supervisor Sue Horne boasted the weightiest war chest for the March 2 local election, according to recent financial disclosures.
“I think people support me (financially) because they support my record,” Horne said. “The amount of money is indicative of the incredible amount of support, confidence and trust people have in my leadership.”
Her opponent, political newcomer Steve O’Rourke, has sworn off large donations, campaigning to unseat the District 2 incumbent with just $1,136.
O’Rourke said he does not want to be as beholden to special interests as he believes his opponent is.
“Large donors expect something in return,” O’Rourke said. “I am not being solicited or courted by special interests, because they don’t like somebody who’ll make his own mind up.”
The fund-raising totals were outlined in Jan. 17 campaign finance reports.
Horne’s largest contributor, so far, was Timberline Custom Homes, with $3,000. Robinson Timber and Sierra Pacific Industries also donated $1,000 each for the incumbent.
Despite several contributions from Realtors, contractors and builders, Horne said her decisions are not tainted by pro-growth interests.
The smaller, yet numerous, contributions from homemakers, educators and nurses, for example, show she has support across the spectrum, Horne said.
In the race for the county’s District 1 seat, candidate Olivia Diaz’s fund-raising total was the third-highest, but she received one of the single largest donations – from a vocal environmental advocate.
Michael Funk, president of the South Yuba River Citizens League, gave $4,999 to Diaz’s campaign.
Diaz said she does not deny being a supporter of the river.
The scenic waterway is an economic driver, attracting people to the community who spend money on lodging, food and retail, Diaz said.
“He is supporting me because I value what he values,” Diaz said of Funk. “I am certainly not ashamed by his donation. I am humbled he thought my candidacy was worth that much.”
She said she has returned donations from some people with whom she did not want to be associated.
Her second-largest donor was her husband for $1,400, while nearly half of her campaign contributions over $100 were from retired people.
Diaz had $3,930 in her campaign fund, according to the reports, compared to Beason, who had $9,734.
The majority of campaign contributions over $100 to Beason were from retired people, according to the finance reports. His largest contribution of $3,099 is from an aunt, he said.
Though he has repeatedly said he is not collecting money from special-interest groups, Beason did receive $500 from the Nevada County Contractors Association in July 2003.
“These are local business people who live in the community, who do pro bono work in the community, and I am proud to have their support.” Beason said. “And ($500) doesn’t constitute a monster contribution …. It pales in comparison to $4,999.”
The third District 1 challenger, Josh Ramey, landed at the bottom of the fund-raising list with a war chest of $1,045, almost entirely from loans.
The county’s District 5 seat is uncontested, with only Truckee Councilman Ted Owens running.
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