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Money pours into North Coast legislative races

Money is flowing into the campaigns for North Coast legislative seats being contested in 2014, with four candidates showing an early separation in the fundraising race.

Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire, Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood, Napa County Supervisor Bill Dodd and state Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, are well out in front in terms of cash on hand, according to campaign finance records released Friday.

Dodd is the overall money leader, amassing $594,597 in contributions for the last six months of 2013 in his bid to win the 4th Assembly District seat, which includes Rohnert Park and the unincorporated areas of Bennett Valley and Sonoma Valley.

Davis Mayor Joe Krovoza raised the next most in that race ($223,590), followed by Davis City Councilman Dan Wolk ($122,077) and Napa County Planning Commissioner Matt Pope ($84,612).

The top two vote-getters in the June primary, regardless of party, advance to the final round in November.

Friday's finance reports are an early indication of how the candidates are faring. Four of the North Coast's five seats in the state Legislature are being contested this year, with Levine the only incumbent seeking a return trip to Sacramento.

"Early money is about communicating to elites the seriousness of your candidacy," said David McCuan, a political scientist at Sonoma State University.

Levine raised $325,660 over the last six months of 2013 and had $429,238 in cash available at the end of the year, reports show. The 10th Assembly District spans Santa Rosa south of College Avenue, Petaluma and Marin County.

The largest donors to Levine's campaign included Simone Coxe, director of KQED; members of the Fisher family, and former financier David Crane, who is now a lecturer at Stanford University. Each contributed the maximum amount of $8,200, with the amount split between the June primary and November election, should Levine make it that far.

None of the other candidates running for the 10th Assembly District seat reported raising any money, because they entered the race after the Dec. 31 deadline. That includes Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Erin Carlstrom, who declined to state how much money she has raised but she said she's received "a lot of support" from a wide cross-section of the community.

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