Cari Thomas

Highest fundraisers ousted from incumbent seats
March 06, 2011 2:00 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

ADELANTO • Bringing in the most campaign money isn’t the key to securing a seat on the Adelanto City Council.

The two highest campaign spenders in Adelanto’s November mayoral and council elections — former Mayor Charley Glasper and former Councilman Gene Piehe — lost their incumbent seats, while political newcomer Chuck Valvo cruised to victory after spending less than $1,000, according to campaign finance forms recently filed with the city clerk.

Newly elected Mayor Cari Thomas — who beat Glasper by 6 percent of the vote — spent $900 out of the $1,050 she raised for her campaign. She said it all went to signage, while she devoted her time to visiting with constituents, from residents at the local community center to water rates protesters outside City Hall.

Her rival Glasper spent nearly $8,000 — about half of which he used in the two weeks before the election. His major contributions included $1,000 from Lewis Pacific Partners in Upland and $1,500 from MG Communications LLC.

In the race for two open council seats, incumbent Gene Piehe raised and spent the most money — $6,276 — but came in last place of four candidates with just under 15 percent of the vote.

Councilman Steve Baisden, who took 35 percent of the vote, raised $1,913 and spent $2,259. The bulk of Baisden’s money — $1,725 — came from a self loan, records show.

Councilman Charles Valvo won the second council seat with 27 percent of the vote after spending less than $1,000.

Incumbent Councilman Trinidad Perez lost the election after spending nothing, though he had a remaining cash balance of $1,645. He had effectively stopped campaigning after he feared he might have to move out of Adelanto, but has since found a local job and been appointed to the council seat left vacant when Thomas became mayor.

For more about the campaign finances, read the full story in Monday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.

Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at