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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on October 14th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 33 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 33

Osborne, Ball lead the pack for money raised in Lompoc city races

By Malea Martin

Candidates running for city office in Lompoc have raked in thousands of dollars in campaign contributions so far. Incumbent Mayor Jenelle Osborne leads the pack for money raised from campaign contributions, while City Council candidate Jeremy Ball has raised the most total money from both campaign contributions and a loan.

According to state campaign finance law, candidates must report their contributors’ name and donation amount if that contribution is $100 or more. The most recent filing period went from July 1 to Sept. 19. 

Osborne had raised $5,304 in monetary contributions by Sept. 19, plus an additional $3,000—her largest contribution yet—on Sept. 24 from the IBEW Local Union 1245 in Vacaville, California. This brings her total contributions as of Oct. 13 to $8,304, according to the city’s website. Osborne received an additional non-monetary contribution worth $300 from DenMat, a dental supply company in Lompoc, which donated hand sanitizer to her campaign.

While Osborne leads in campaign contributions, District 4 council hopeful Ball leads for total money raised thanks to a bank loan of $2,905. He also raised $4,014 in campaign contributions before the Sept. 19 deadline, plus an additional $2,000—his largest contribution—on Sept. 24 from the same union that gave Osborne $3,000. Ball’s campaign contributions (without the loan) total $6,014, and his total money raised tops out at $8,919.

Current District 2 Councilmember Victor Vega, who is running against Osborne for the mayor’s seat this November, had raised $4,200 by the Sept. 19 filing deadline, plus an additional $1,000 from McIntosh Roofing Inc. on Sept. 22, for a total of $5,200 raised. 

Six of Vega’s 20 donors are listed as “anonymous” because their donations are exactly $99, meaning the law doesn’t require their identities to be revealed. Two more of his donors are listed as “online anonymous,” and gave $9.41 and $96.80. 

Vega’s largest donations include the aforementioned $1,000 from McIntosh Roofing Inc.; $1,000 from Thomas W. Hinkens, a real estate broker; and $1,000 from Cheryl and George Bedford, car dealership owners at Sunset Auto Center.

According to the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s Campaign Activity FAQ sheet, if someone receives two monetary contributions of $99 from one contributor, then that contributor must be named and itemized, if their “contributions, including monetary, non-monetary, and loans, aggregate to $100 or more in a calendar year.”

Vega did not respond to a request for comment on the donors who gave just under $100. 

Lompoc City Clerk Stacey Haddon told the Sun via email that committees and candidates are required to track contributors of $25 or more.

“This is to track aggregate contributions, and once the $100 limit is reached, then that source is named on the Form 460,” Haddon wrote. 

All candidates completed a 460 form to report contributions from the recent filing period, from July 1 to Sept. 19. Contributions received after the filing deadline are reported in a 497 form.

Incumbent District 4 Councilmember Jim Mosby, who is running to defend his seat against challenger Ball, didn’t report any campaign contributions for the recent filing period. He told the Sun that he made the explicit choice during this election cycle to not accept contributions.

“I wanted to be able to stand up and say I don’t owe anybody,” Mosby said. “I haven’t been bought and paid for.”

District 1 Councilmember Gilda Cordova is running unopposed for reelection. She raised a total of $1,377 by the Sept. 19 filing deadline, and has not reported any additional contributions. 

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