Campaign finance disclosure forms filed for Humboldt County supervisor races; experts say cost of local elections on the rise

As Humboldt County supervisor candidates campaign for the 4th and 5th district seats, experts say fundraising for local elections has increased in recent years.

"The cost of elections is going up in general," Humboldt State University politics professor Stephanie Burkhalter said. "Open elections will be more expensive. Competitive elections will be more expensive."

College of the Redwoods political science professor Ryan Emenaker said the rise in fundraising is a nationwide trend.

"I think it's more noticeable for us here because we've had such affordable races in the past," Emenaker said. "We're following the trend of increasing, but I think we just notice it more because our races have been cheap."

In the county supervisor races for the 4th and 5th district, the four candidates have raised a total of $31,930 since the start of 2014, according to the most recently filed campaign finance forms.

California's Form 460 details the name of donors and the amount contributed to a candidate's election.

Any candidate who expects to raise or spend $1,000 or more in a calendar year is required by the California Fair Political Practices Commission to file the form with their local election office. Contributions are divided by monetary, or cash, and nonmonetary contributions, such as services or goods.

Fourth District

Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass has raised a total of $17,926 since Jan. 1, but she already had a beginning cash balance of $59,035.

The incumbent's monetary contributions totaled $11,596, and her nonmonetary contributions came to $6,330.

Eureka resident Shirley Bass was the top monetary contributor with a $1,000 donation. Virginia Bass received just over 40 monetary contributions this period.

Justin Zabel of Mercer-Fraser Company was the largest nonmonetary contributor with a $900 donation for a load of concrete.

Virginia Bass spent $14,590 in cash, which left her with an ending cash balance of $60,670.

Fourth District supervisor candidate Chris Kerrigan has raised a total of $9,613. He began with a cash balance of zero dollars.

Kerrigan's monetary contributions totaled $7,029 with 29 contributors, and he raised $2,584 in nonmonetary contributions.

Eureka resident Roy Grieshaber, Scotia resident Melvin Kreb, McKinleyville resident Ken Miller and L & A Enterprises President Anne Pierson all tie as Kerrigan's top monetary contributors with $500 donations.

Christina Anastasia, a jewelry designer and creator, was Kerrigan's top nonmonetary contributor with a $1,109 donation for hand-crafted jewelry.

Kerrigan has spent $6,222 of the available cash, and has an overall balance of $1,883.

Fifth District

Fifth District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg -- who started with a beginning cash balance of $41,901 -- has raised a total of $2,698 since the beginning of the year.

His monetary contributions total $2,698. He had no nonmonetary contributions, but spent $6,986 in cash, which left him with an overall balance of $37,612.

The Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff Organization was his only monetary contributor with a donation of $2,500.

Fifth District Supervisor candidate Sharon Latour has raised a total of $1,693 -- all of which are monetary contributions. She started with a cash balance of zero dollars.

Retired Arcata resident Cathy Hanafi was Latour's largest monetary contributor this period with an $815 donation. Latour had no nonmonetary donations.

Latour has spent $1,318, leaving her with an ending cash balance of $375.

Lorna Rodriguez can be reached at 441-0506 or lrodriguez@times-standard.com. Follow her on Twitter @LornaARodriguez.

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