With less than a month until Election Day, the two candidates vying for Sonoma County's 1st District Board of Supervisors seat are on a fundraising and spending spree.
Santa Rosa City Council Members John Sawyer and Susan Gorin have pulled in $472,000 between them in their bid for the county seat, which encompasses east Santa Rosa and Sonoma Valley. Sawyer brought in about $295,000 of that.
Sawyer's contributions of $108,636 since July eclipsed Gorin's by almost $36,000. But Gorin had about $8,000 more cash on hand as the campaigns enter their final swing.
The large amount of money pouring into the race reflects its importance to the county's political future. It also is the only board seat on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Sawyer said his fundraising shows that he has a broad base of support, including from business interests that he said consider him the best candidate to create jobs and get the economy going.
"The fact my contributions reflect that is not surprising to me," Sawyer said Friday.
But Gorin said she has more grass-roots support and that Sawyer is taking money from interest groups she claimed are "trying to buy this election."
Campaign finance records due Friday revealed that Sawyer raised a total of $102,964, plus an additional $5,672 in non-monetary donations, since July 1, for a total of $108,636 this reporting period. That brought his year-to-date figure to $294,463, which includes a $16,300 loan.
Sawyer spent $75,623, leaving him with a cash balance of $37,180.
Gorin collected $70,129, plus an additional $2,600 in non-monetary contributions, giving her a total of $72,729. Her year-to-date figure is $177,779, which includes a $10,000 loan.
Gorin spent $38,122, leaving her with a cash balance of $45,086.
The pair's fundraising doesn't match the torrid pace of the 2010 contest between Petaluma Council Members Pam Torliatt and David Rabbitt, who by this time had raised nearly $600,000 on their way to setting a new spending record for a supervisorial race in Sonoma County. But it's still a lot of money for a county seat that traditionally has gone to someone from Sonoma Valley.