With the June 3 election long over, a legal deadline on July 31 passed to submit last-minute campaign cash filings, revealing the front-runners in the money race for Davis City Council: re-elected City Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson and new Mayor Pro Tem Robb Davis.
Swanson raised $17,839 in campaign contributions with no loans, while Davis raised $17,112, not counting about $5,900 in loans largely from Davis himself, according to Matt Williams, Davis’ treasurer for the 2013 leg of the campaign. Other candidates reported raising no money in 2013.
Davis won 43.1 percent of the votes and Swanson was second with 36.3 percent. Five candidates were running for two seats.
The filings show that for some campaigns, the race to raise and spend money in the last 16 days of the campaign produced plenty of donors. Swanson raised $2,804 in that period, John Munn collected $2,700, Davis raised $752, Sheila Allen tallied $325 and Daniel Parrella collected $100.
While last-minute expenses for the candidates ranged from paying accountants (Munn) to buying helium for balloons (Swanson), the importance of money in a campaign versus pure shoe-leather politicking is sometimes complex.
For Davis, who canvassed every precinct in town with the help of volunteers, the money raised helped a couple of the three major aspects of his campaign.
“One was walking precincts, meeting people at the door,” he said. “The way that money plays a part is we can leave literature, small brochures, with people. Those cost money.”
Mailers and small gatherings at voters’ homes made up the other two major aspects of his campaign. While mailers are an obvious headache to many voters, Davis said they do help get name recognition. So are ads in local media.
“In a town like Davis, overwhelmingly the costs are going toward placing ads in the newspaper, the mailers and the literature we drop off at people’s houses,” Davis said, adding that mailers were the single largest cost in his campaign. “All of that is centered around name recognition and getting the key points of the message out.”
For the total campaign, Munn, a former Davis school board member, raised $12,461, not including $1,500 in loans. His campaign either spent or owed money on unpaid bills by about $27,000, however, and ended up in the red by roughly $18,000.
School board member Allen raised a total of $9,834 in cash contributions, while getting about $2,000 in loans. Her campaign spent roughly $8,800 and still owed the $2,000 in loans at last count.
Parrella, a solar power entrepreneur, raised $4,550 in cash and $4,350 in loans. The Parrella campaign spent about $8,300 and ended with a cash balance of $603.
The supporters and opponents of Measure P, an initiative to toss out Davis’ controversial water rates, also raised money in the last stretch of the campaign. Citizens For Clean, Affordable, Reliable Water, who promoted the initiative, raised a total of $12,746 in cash contributions — $1,305 in the last 16 days of the campaign — while receiving $5,730 in loans. The campaign reported spending $18,827.
Friends of the city of Davis, which opposed Measure P, raised a total of $5,485 in cash contributions, spent $4,973 and ended with $511 on hand. Former City Councilman Stephen Souza, the treasurer, previously said the committee was formed shortly after the April 10 groundbreaking ceremony for the surface water project and got a late start in the campaign season.
— Reach Dave Ryan at email@example.com or call 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @davewritesnews