With Election Day less than three weeks away the two Tracy candidates for the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors Fifth District seat continue to gather support.
So far Tracy City Councilwoman Rhodesia Ransom leads the fundraising effort, collecting nearly $346,000 for her campaign, compared to just over $224,000 that Tracy Mayor Robert Rickman has raised.
This week Ransom also announced that she has the support of her other fellow Tracy councilmembers, with Councilwoman Veronica Vargas giving her endorsement for Ransom this week.
“It’s important that people realize that we know how to set aside differences and actually get things done for this community,” Ransom said. “Veronica’s endorsement shows people that it’s not about party lines, it’s not about differences. It’s about people being able to come together for the good and for the benefit of the community.”
Vargas ran against Ransom and Rickman in the March primary and gained 18% of the vote, which would tip the election in Ransom’s favor if she were to gain all of those votes. Rickman collected just over 42% of the vote in March, compared to just under 30% for Ransom. Mateo Morelos Bedolla gained nearly 10% of the vote, and then shifted his focus to run for Tracy City Council.
Rickman said he was not surprised that Vargas would endorse his opponent, considering that he was the lone vote on the council to oppose putting Measure Y on the Nov. 3 ballot. Vargas sits on the board of the Tri-Valley San Joaquin Regional Rail Authority, and brought the idea of transit-oriented development, the basis of Measure Y, to the council in July.
Rickman said elected officials across the county have endorsed him, and named Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal, Lodi Mayor Doug Kuehne and Mountain House Community Service District board members Daniel Harrison and Brian Lucid among his supporters.
In terms of money raised, Ransom outpaced Rickman early in the race, raising $100,873 in 2019 compared to $61,682 that Rickman raised in 2019. Candidates filed their latest Form 460 campaign finance disclosure documents last month, outlining how much money they have raised and spent so far for the 2020 election.
For 2020, Ransom’s campaign had collected $217,378.74 as of Sept. 19. For the last reporting period, July 1 to Sept. 19, her campaign collected $97,576.27, including 77 contributions of $100 or more, and 17 contributions of $1,000 or more.
Ransom’s biggest contributor is Service Employees International Union Local 1021 out of Sacramento, donating $50,000 in the last reporting period. The union, which represents workers in government, non-profits, health care and education, also donated $30,000 to her campaign in 2019.
Since Sept. 19 she has raised another $27,728.58 in contributions of $1,000 or more, as reported on her 497 Forms, which must be filed within a day after receiving the contribution. Three of those contributions were for $5,000, including donations from Tajinder Kaur of Tracy and Gurdip Singh of Manteca. She also got $5,000 from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters through the union’s Democrat Republican Independent Voter Education (DRIVE) political action committee.
Ransom also got significant support from Karen Grove of Menlo Park, $8,400 so far for 2020, and Eva Grove of Los Altos, $8,000 for 2020. Her campaign has also received $7,500 from Quinn Delany of Oakland during the first half of the year. Ransom said those contributors are individuals who support women running for elected office.
RiverIslands Development of Walnut Creek contributed $5,000 to her campaign, and major contributors from 2019 include the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Association PAC ($10,000) and San Joaquin County Correctional Officers Association PAC ($5,000).
So far in 2020 Rickman had raised $108,031.41 as of Sept. 19, the most recent deadline for candidates’ 460 Forms. During the last reporting period between July 1 and Sept. 19 Rickman’s campaign raised $56,255, which includes 78 contributions of $100 or more, and 27 contributions of $1,000 or more.
Since Sept. 19 his campaign had collected another $54,500, as reported on his 497 Forms. Those donations included $10,000 from the San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff’s Political Action Committee on Sept. 29.
The biggest contributions to Rickman’s campaign came from Clifford Hensley of Stockton, listed as a private contractor, donating $15,000. Gurpartap Singh of Mountain House has donated $13,000 to Rickman’s campaign this year.
Rickman said that those large donations come from small business owners who gave their support after he told them of his advocacy for policies to support business owners in San JoaquinCounty.
“We were talking about lowering the cost of living and making things more business-friendly,” Rickman said. “That’s resonating with folks, especially folks in small business.”
The Tracy Firefighters Association PAC has contributed a total of $6,000 this year to Rickman’s campaign, which also got $5,000 from Hoffman Brothers Harvesting of Tracy, $5,000 from Naman Trucking Inc. of Tracy and four donors from Integral Communities, developer of Tracy Hills, gave a total of $5,000.
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