A review of campaign finance disclosures filed with the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters this week gives some interesting twists in the race involving Second District Supervisor Paul Biane.
Biane is seeking a third term amongst a field of five challengers. A run-off is all but assured.
For the latest pre-election reporting period covering sixty days, Fontana Councilwoman Janice Rutherford raised $136,196.25, including a late contributions of $10,000.00. Rutherford has remaining cash-on-hand of only $7866.93.
Supervisor Paul Biane raised $101,756.00 for the same period and has remaining cash-on-hand of $188,645.12.
Biane has outspent Rutherford on a ratio of at least 2 to 1 and is retaining significant resources for a most likely November runoff election with Rutherford. A runoff in the same election as match-ups involving Meg Whitman vs Jerry Brown and Carly Fiorina or Tom Campbell vs Barbara Boxer, will be costly for both candidates.
The reason? High turnout.
In the November election, lower propensity voters will turnout in the supervisorial race due to the up-ballot contests, driving up costs for both candidates in reaching out to less-informed voters.
It’s the less-informed voters that can hurt any candidate.
This prospect hurts Rutherford, who will be under financial pressure depending on here showing on June 8th. Rutherford hiring Sacramento-based consultant Tab Berg was a mistake. Berg is definitely not on par with Sacramento-based Chris Jones, who is consultant to Biane. Rutherford’s early campaign literature was crap.
Rutherford may as well have designed her own mail literature.
An intensifying anti-incumbent mood could play against Biane, and any additional legal issues could make his reelection problematic.
Second-tier challenger, Chaffey Union High School Board member Art Bustamonte. could skew the primary numbers since he was able to run a skeletal campaign. Bustamonte’s mistake was using John Lightburn and Fred Shorett to help him. All these two men did was waste Bustamonte’s money and irritate people, including Bustamonte.
Of interest in the campaign finance reports, is Rutherford appears to have raised the bulk of her funds from interests related to two sources. Those being Beverly Hills-based developer David Weiner and Upland-based Lewis Group of Companies.
The Lewis’ also donated to Biane at a similar level. One wonders what game is being played here besides the typical Lewis fence-riding. After all, if you believe in the incumbent then why support his challenger?
If Biane takes first place in the primary with a margin of five percent or more over the runner-up, he should be in decent shape. If not, dark clouds may be on the horizon.
Rutherford receiving the endorsement of both local newspapers could be another handicap for her. Usually the endorsements are a death blow for candidates in hotly contested races. Especially any endorsement from The Sun/Daily Bulletin.