Four candidates for the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors in Districts 2 and 3.have raised more than $10,000 in campaign donations with more than a month to go before the June 5 primary election.

Thursday was the deadline for local candidates in Tuolumne County to file their first pre-election statements showing how much they’ve raised and spent on their campaigns up to this point.

Incumbent District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt raised $14,501 throughout all of 2017, according to his latest campaign-finance report filed with the Tuolumne County Elections Office on Jan. 31.

Hanvelt’s campaign committee had $4,538.63 at the beginning of 2017 and spent $100 that year, leaving him with $18,939.63.

District 3 candidate Merv Cancio raised more than the other three candidates in District 3 with a total of $18,150 from March 20 to April 21, $12,500 reportedly came out of his own pocket.

Cancio’s nearest District 3 competitor in terms of fundraising was Anaiah Kirk, a supervising correctional officer at Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, who has received a total of $12,283 in campaign donations.

Laurie Sylwester, a former District 3 supervisor who teaches at Columbia College, was close behind Kirk with $10,573 in campaign donations since she started running in November, as well as a $2,000 loan she took out herself.

California election rules require candidates who raised or spent $2,000 or more to file Form 460, which shows their total campaign contributions and expenditures for that period.

Those who raised less than $2,000 are required to file Form 470 stating they anticipate receiving less than that amount to the best of their knowledge under penalty of perjury.

Candidates who didn’t file either form with their local elections office may be charged a late fee of $10 for each day past the Thursday deadline, according to the state Fair Political Practices Commission.

The commission’s campaign manual states a campaign committee may request a waiver of any late fees assessed by the local filing officer or Secretary of State.

Robbie Bergstrom, assistant county clerk, said the elections office doesn’t monitor or contact candidates who do not file statements by the required deadlines because each candidate signs a statement that it’s their obligation to follow all of state’s rules.

Supervisor District 2

Hanvelt had yet to file the first pre-election statement as of Friday afternoon. He said in a telephone interview that his campaign was working on the report and he thought that he had until May 1 to file.

“We’ll have it done shortly,” he said.

Candidates are also required to file statements of economic interests on Form 700, which discloses financial information like stock holdings, businesses they own, rental properties they own, non-governmental salaries of themselves or their spouses, travel payments from third parties and gifts from businesses.

Hanvelt received a total of about $600 in gifts that included $116 for dinner and tickets to a Sacramento Kings game on Jan. 21, 2017, and $90 for a sponsored dinner on May 27, 2017, courtesy of Sacramento-based Vanir Construction Management, which had previously received two contracts from the board totaling more than $700,000.

The contracts to Vanir that Hanvelt voted to approve in 2014 were for construction management services on the Mother Lode Regional Juvenile Detention Facility, which opened in April last year.

Hanvelt said he didn’t believe the gift created a conflict of interest because Vanir’s job had already been completed and he had turned down similar offers for dinner from the company while the work was still underway.

District 2 candidate Ryan Campbell, who works as a county administrative analyst overseeing tree mortality, filed a statement on March 30 covering his campaign contributions and expenditures the year prior through March 14.

The statement showed he had raised $2,860 and spent $284.36 during that period.
Campbell said he faxed a copy of his first pre-election statement to the elections office on Friday and provided a copy via email that showed he had raised an additional $1,755 and spent $3,528.60 between March 15 and Friday.

Dave Titchenal, who runs a multimedia-consulting business and is also running for the District 2 seat, filed Form 470 on March 9 pledging that he anticipated receiving or spending less than $2,000 during the calendar year.

If a candidate who files Form 470 later receives contributions or spends more than the $2,000 limit, they are required to send a written notice to the elections office within 48 hours of exceeding that amount, according to the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Supervisor District 3

Cancio, a teacher at Curtis Creek Elementary School, had spent a total of $6,345.70 and had $11,304.30 in cash remaining on hand as of April 21.

The largest single contribution that Cancio received was for $2,500 from his wife, Rose, a certified nursing assistant contractor.

Kirk’s total included $6,685 in cash contributions and $5,598 in non-monetary contributions.

Non-monetary contributions to Kirk’s campaign included $1,450 for graphic design work from New Creation Studio in East Sonora, $1,250 in video work by Brooke Garro, of Twain Harte, and $758 in event planning services from Sierra Bridal and Balloons in East Sonora.

Kirk had $666 left on hand as of April 25, according to his report filed with the elections office.

Sylwester’s total included $7,398 in cash contributions and $3,175 in non-monetary contributions, the latter of which included $2,700 in website design and social media work by Greg Falken, owner of Webdancers in Tuolumne.

The elections office said Friday that it had yet to receive a 460 or 470 from District 3 candidate Aaron Rasmussen, an Iraq War veteran who does nonprofit work related to veterans affairs.

Rasmussen said he hasn’t spent or raised more than $2,000 and would get guidance on what to file on Monday. He said he has an online fundraising account that has raised $525, plus he’s received one cash donation for $60.

He said he’s spent about $400 on social media and about $600 out of his own pocket on fees to run for office.

Treasurer-Tax Collector

Justin Birtwhistle has raised $5,700 and spent $4,472.53 from Jan. 1 through April 21, while Michelle Ronning has raised $2,648.60 and spent $2,096.03 over the same period.

Birtwhistle gave his campaign committee $5,000, his largest single contribution. He spent $2,252.93 on a filing and candidate statement fee through the Tuolumne County Elections Office, as well as $1,903.95 on campaign marketing materials to UTLTRN Design and Print Shop in Sonora.

Ronning also made the single largest contribution to her own campaign committee in the amount of $2,170. She spent $925.92 on a candidate statement fee through the county Elections Office and $260 to Ariel Galos, of Groveland, for designing her website, $455.79 to Vista Print for postcards, and $233 to SignElect based in Houston, Texas, for yard signs.

Sonora City Council

None of the candidates for Sonora City Council filed pre-election campaign reports as of Friday morning.

Incumbent Councilman Jim Garaventa, who serves as mayor pro-tem, said he filed the 470 that afternoon after learning he was required to file one by Thursday even if he hadn’t exceeded the $2,000 limit for spending or fundraising.

Garaventa said he plans to use signs from his last campaign in 2014 and doesn’t expect to exceed the limit.

Colette Such, who serves as president of the Columbia College Foundation board, said she was mailing her first pre-election statement Friday.

Council candidates Kurt Bryant and David Axelrod could not be reached for comment.

Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.com or (209) 588-4530.

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