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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Where is the race for County Supervisor Going?

A year ago, Jim Provenza was President of the Davis School Board, John Ferrera was a largely unknown chief of Staff for State Senator Denise Ducheney, and Cathy Kennedy, if it is possible was even less known. At that point it looked like Jim Provenza was odds on favorite to win the seat.

But something has happened since then. And actually it largely has happened since January 1, 2008.

Mr. Ferrera has opened up an $18,000 financial lead over his closest rival--$73,000 to $55,000.

The difference has occurred largely since January 1 where Ferrera has added $34,000 to just $12,500 by Mr. Provenza.

Given the relatively large advantage that Jim Provenza still enjoys in name recognition it is not the most alarming factor that his opponent has out raised him. Although the magnitude of the recent money has to be concerning.

The most alarming factor is probably that a lot of the large contributions to John Ferrera have come from organized labor--a group that one would have suspected that Jim Provenza would have held his own. In fact there is no apparent reason why labor should be picking John Ferrera over Jim Provenza--both men have strong ties to Sacramento, although Ferrera is Chief of Staff to the budget chair. Provenza has been regarded by many to be a strong advocate for labor, but some suspect the purse strings attached to the Chair of the Budget Committee maybe influencing the movement towards Ferrera. Moreover, many of those endorsing are building trades who are supporting the candidate widely seen as more in favor of development.

John Ferrera also received a contribution from a Texas oil company--Conoco which would seem like an odd contribution for a County Supervisor campaign.

Meanwhile, Jim Provenza received the unanimous endorsement from the Davis Democratic Club.

At this point, Cathy Kennedy appears to be little more than a spoiler who figures to push this race into November.

That said, she has amassed several interesting endorsements. We have previously reported on the Davis Police Officers Association and Supervisor Matt Rexroad. Now add to those, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, the Yolo County Sheriff's Officers Association, Supervisor Duane Chamberlain, and Woodland City Councilman Jeff Monroe, who is himself a Sheriff's Deputy.

Of those, I am perhaps a bit surprised to see Duane Chamberlain on there, Chamberlain has been one of the most consistent voices for farmland protection in the county. And while Ms. Kennedy has vowed to uphold the pass-through agreement on residential development, she has suggested she would support county imposed-peripheral development for commercial ventures.

The Vanguard had Jim Provenza on its radio show on KDRT last week. <Listen to it here>. We are working to get John Ferrera and Cathy Kennedy on as well.

At this point, it seems that this race is destined for a November runoff, the question is who will have the advantage at that point.

---Doug Paul Davis reporting