Randy Hanvelt

Age: 75

Occupation: Tuolumne County Supervisor, District 2

What is your favorite smartphone app: I don’t like smartphone apps. I don’t want to be a slave to that thing. To me, it’s a tool.

What are you reading: Yesterday, I got two documents. One is on the demographics and economic situation in Tuolumne County, and the other is about the status of children in the county. Both are very fascinating.

Who is a leader you admire: Jesus Christ. Talk about coming from humble beginnings and rising above it. Amazing, and the impact was and continues to be astounding.

Ryan Campbell

Age: 37

Occupation: Administrative Analyst, Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services

What is your favorite smartphone app: Google News. I like to know what’s going on, I can’t help it. I have to be informed about everything all the time.

What are you reading: Right now, I’m reading an illustrated version of Harry Potter to my daughters every night.

Who is a leader you admire: Abraham Lincoln. He was the right man at the right time and had the courage to stand up to an evil was being committed, which was slavery. He’s just a good example of leadership and quiet strength.

Voters in Tuolumne County’s District 2 will decide on Nov. 6 whether to stay on the current path of the past eight years or shake things up with a new face in local politics.

Ryan Campbell is running his first campaign for elected office against two-term incumbent District 2 Supervisor Randy Hanvelt, who’s well financed and supported by the local political establishment.

It marks the first time that Hanvelt has met a challenger in a runoff, after defeating both of his previous opponents in the primary with more than 50 percent of the vote. He finished first in a three-person race with 1,311 votes, or about 44 percent, followed by Campbell in second with 993 votes, or about 34 percent.

Hanvelt said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the outcome in the primary, despite having spent about six times as much as both of his opponents combined.

“I don’t think surprised is the right word,” he said. “Anytime you have a three-person race, it’s going to split the vote.”

Campbell also said he wasn’t surprised that he made it to the runoff because of the amount of groundwork he’s put into his campaign.

“I’ve been going door-to-door to people and knew I would get through the primary if at least the people I spoke to voted for me,” he said. “I think people at the time were ready for change and still are, probably even more so now.”

The two candidates in the runoff couldn’t be much further apart, both in their personalities, backgrounds and approaches on how to improve the local economy.

Campbell, 37, lives near Crystal Falls with his wife and three young daughters all under the age of 6 and works as an administrative analyst for the Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services, where he administers the county’s program to protect the public from the tree mortality epidemic.

If elected, Campbell has pledged to quit his job with the county to avoid any conflicts of interest and focus on being a full-time supervisor. He moved to the county in 2009 and worked as a reporter and later as deputy editor at The Union Democrat before getting a job in the public sector.

Hanvelt, 75, lives in the unincorporated area of Sonora near the border of Soulsbyville and is a father of two grown children, grandfather of five and great-grandfather of two.

He moved to the county in 2004 after retiring from a 36-year career at General Electric as the industrial giant’s global executive in charge of managing the commercial side of its nuclear fuel division.

The two are also vastly different when it comes to campaign funding and spending.

Hanvelt has raised $53,427, all in cash, since the beginning of last year through Oct. 20, according to his latest campaign-finance report filed with county Elections Office on Thursday. He’s spent a total of $54,425, some of which came out of the $4,538 he had on hand at the beginning of last year.

Some of the many locally well-known names who have donated to Hanvelt’s campaign include logger Mike Albrecht, TuCARE Executive Director Melinda Fleming, Dodge Ridge owners Frank and Sally Helm, District Attorney Laura Krieg, former District 5 Supervisor Dick Pland, sitting District 5 Supervisor Karl Rodefer, Tuolumne Utilities District Director Bob Rucker, TUD candidate Jeff Kerns, and former Sheriff Jim Mele, who donated prior to announcing he would retire in March.

Other donors to his campaign include elected supervisors from Humboldt and Merced counties, as well as local businesses and developers like Feriani Construction, Glenn S. Caldwell Insurance Service Inc., and Valley Vista Property Investments LP.

Major corporations and special interests have also donated to Hanvelt’s re-election campaign, such as Pacific Gas and Electric Co., AT&T, Sierra Pacific Industries, the California Real Estate Political Action Committee, Tuolumne County Building Industry, Cal Fire Local No. 2881, and the Pacific Ultrapower Chinese Station biomass plant in Chinese Camp that’s owned by the Bay Area-based IHI Power Services Corp.

Hanvelt has been criticized by Campbell for taking so much money from outside interests, but Hanvelt vowed that campaign donations do not influence his decisions. He said he proudly accepted donations from places like the Pacific Ultrapower plant, which he takes credit for helping to keep open by advocating against legislation that would have put the business in jeopardy.

“I’m going to do what’s best for Tuolumne County,” he said.

Campbell’s latest campaign-finance report stated he’s spent about $9,283 and received a total of $9,869 in contributions as of Oct. 20, including $9,239 in cash, a $380 loan, and $250 in in-kind donations.

Almost all of the donations of $100 to Campbell’s campaign come from individuals, with the exception of $500 from the Pinole-based District Council of Iron Workers Political Action League.

Nearly all of the 31 individuals and couples who have donated at least $100 to Campbell since he launched his campaign last year are identified as retirees, though there were a few public figures like TUD spokeswoman Lisa Westbrook and former State Assembly candidate Robert Carabas.

Despite the financial ocean between them, Campbell said he remains optimistic about his chances and plans to keep door knocking and meeting with people face-to-face to get his message out.

“He’s got a lot of powerful interests backing him who don’t want to see reform,” Campbell said of Hanvelt and his donors. “One thing you can’t buy is the enthusiasm of the community, and we think we have that.”

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

Randy Hanvelt campaign finance report: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vQ_YNCowHmnkAQ1zeMCikfbvKrhvpDpkKu7D7RRlaNIc_Xi3lhkVFoYnc6XLIsicrX1iOtYK0hR0sia/pubhtml

Ryan Campbell campaign finance report: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/e/2PACX-1vRsNy7qsXbDeQlsc7C4SjL43Xrxp3ypeBIARJHrxapZkenEOlv4OxcAJop8mlRzpkE--Gi370JV-8Pn/pubhtml