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By Allison Jarrell
With just over a month left until Election Day, District 5 candidate Mechelle Lawrence Adams has raised the most money from the most donors in the San Juan Capistrano City Council race, according to campaign finance statements submitted to the city clerk.
In January, the City Council approved a $510 limit for campaign contributions, up $10 from the last election cycle. In 2014, the City Council voted unanimously to increase the maximum donation from $250 to $500, as well as have the city clerk review and, if necessary, adjust the limit every two years to reflect changes in cost of living.
The second round of finance statements is due on Oct. 27.
In other election news, District 5 candidates Ronda Mottl and Brian Maryott sought the Orange County GOP’s endorsement in September, but the party voted unanimously to remain neutral and not support any candidate for City Council in San Juan Capistrano. District 1 candidate Nathan Banda received the Democratic Party of Orange County’s endorsement.
We’ve listed the candidates below in the order they’ll appear on the ballot. To view each candidate’s complete campaign finance statement, click here. (Mechelle Lawrence Adams’ statement is linked below).
Sergio Farias reported $5,738 in campaign contributions, including a $1,549 personal loan to his own campaign. The other $4,189 came from 11 donors, including the California Real Estate PAC, Plaza Art Gallery, and former Planning Commissioner and Design Review Committee member Robert Cardoza.
Farias disclosed $5,763 in expenditures, which includes $1,420 to Macy’s American Express for office expenses and $1,483 to Winning Strategy Campaigns.
Nathan Banda has raised a total of $7,859 from 28 donors, including the Swallows Inn Foundation, Ricardo’s Place,O’Connor Mortuary, Friess Properties, Berrington Properties and District 5 City Council candidate Mechelle Lawrence Adams. Four Tuttle-Click Automotive executives contributed a total of $1,630 to Banda’s campaign.
Banda has spent $9,386 so far, which includes $1,000 to the city for his candidate filing, $2,500 to Evan Chaffee for consulting services and $1,295 to COGS South Signs for signage.
Larry Kramer has raised $15,678 from 53 donors, including former mayors Joe Soto and John Taylor, current councilman and former mayor Sam Allevato, former Orange County sheriff Brad Gates, Rancho Mission Viejo president and CEO Tony Moiso, Hennessey’s Tavern, Plaza Art Gallery, Ricardo’s Place, Lunnen Development, CR&R, Pleasant Valley Ranch, Swallows Inn Foundation, Berrington Properties and the California Real Estate PAC.
Kramer disclosed $9,978 in expenditures, including $1,000 to the city for his candidate filing, $1,576 to Douglas Printing for campaign literature and $1,102 to San Clemente Times, LLC for print ads.
Jim Schneider filed Form 470, which states that he does not have a controlled committee (a committee primarily formed to receive contributions or make expenditures on behalf of a candidate) and he does not anticipate receiving or spending more than $2,000 during the calendar year.
If after filing Form 470 candidates receive or spend $2,000 or more, they are required by the Fair Political Practices Commission to send a written notice within 48 hours to the Secretary of State’s office, local filing officer and each candidate seeking the same office.
Robert Parks announced on Oct. 5 that he has withdrawn from the District 5 City Council race. He filed Form 470, which means, like Schneider, he did not have a controlled committee and anticipated receiving and spending less than $2,000 on his campaign. Even though he has dropped out of the race, Parks’ name will still appear on the ballot.
Mechelle Lawrence Adams has raised the most of any candidate—$33,404—from 88 different donors, including Matias Belardes, tribal chairman of the Juañeno Band of Mission Indians, Acjachemen Nation; Berrington Properties; Cedar Creek Inn; CR&R; Dana Smith Show Team; Falcon Leadership Group; Griffin Structures, Inc.; Hofmann Finn Development Company; Hess-Verdon and Associates; LC Development, LLC; O’Connor Laguna Hills Mortuary; Pacific Coast Hideaway, LLC; Plaza Art Gallery; former city councilwoman Laura Freese; and Rancho Mission Viejo president and CEO Tony Moiso.
Lawrence Adams reported spending $9,864 so far, including $2,500 to Samuel Lippke Studios for campaign literature, $1,224 to COGS South Signs, and $1,235 to Klein and Klein for campaign literature.
Ronda Mottl disclosed $4,460 in campaign contributions, including a $3,000 personal loan to her campaign. The remaining $1,460 in funds came from four donors, one of whom is Capistrano Unified School District Trustee Jim Reardon, who is running for reelection this year.
Mottl has spent $1,291 so far—$648 to Color Digit for campaign literature and $643 to Roadside Advertising for signs.
Brian Maryott loaned himself $25,000 and has not received any outside campaign contributions. Thus far, he’s spent $9,978, including $3,018 to Evan Chaffee for consulting services, $2,344 to Ortega Village for rent and $1,227 to Christina Gegere for administrative services.
Maryott has said previously that he’s self-funding his campaign because he recognizes that residents are “weary” of a perceived influence of developers in the city.