The latest campaign finance disclosures filed with the county Registrar of Voters show Supervisor Todd Spitzer, who is challenging District Attorney Tony Rackauckas for his seat in 2018, leading in fundraising with more than $1.29 million in his campaign coffers at the end of June.
A rivalry has been brewing between the two candidates since 2010, when Spitzer, once a protégé of the incumbent DA, was fired from the DA’s office.
Spitzer raised $277,734 in the first half of 2017 through his Spitzer for Supervisor 2016 campaign committee and ended June with more than $1.29 million in his war chest. Rackauckas by comparison raised $195,393 over the same time period and enters the second half of 2017 with $200,530 in cash on hand.
Fourth District Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who is expected to run for a Superior Court judgeship, is termed out next year.
In the race for his open seat, which includes much of north Orange County, former state Assemblywoman Young Kim, a Republican, leads in fundraising.
Kim raised $238,979.83 and spent $37,663.36 in the first half of 2017. Of those funds, $31,500 is transferred from her Young Kim for Assembly 2016 account.
By comparison, during that same period, former Orange County Fire Authority captain and Democrat Joe Kerr has raised $81,174.00 and spent $27,342.74.
La Habra City Councilman Tim Shaw, a Republican who also serves on the board of the Orange County Transportation Authority, has raised $53,513 and spent $10,724.
The other three sitting county supervisors continue to raise money to keep their seats. In addition to Nelson’s seat, the Second and Fifth District seats are both up for election in 2018. Michelle Steel is the supervisor in the Second District, which falls along the coast of North Orange County and includes cities from Los Alamitos to Newport Beach.
The Fifth District Supervisor is Lisa Bartlett and the district covers south Orange County. All five current supervisors are Republicans.
Supervisor Andrew Do, whose seat isn’t up for re-election until 2020, raised $83,556 in the first half of 2017, with at least $11,525 of the money he raised in 2017 coming from doctors and the medical industry.
Supervisor Michelle Steel raised $173,676 over the same period, ending June with $426,179 in campaign cash.
Meanwhile Bartlett raised $60,869, ending the period with $74,959 in her campaign coffers.
State Senators Janet Nguyen and Patricia Bates, both former county supervisors, have campaign committees to run for supervisor in the future, although they haven’t raised any money and have not announced a bid for the office.
Bates’ campaign committee, Pat Bates for Supervisor 2018 shows $442,000 in debt.
Nguyen’s committee, Friends of Supervisor Janet Nguyen 2020, did not raise any money but ended the period with $241,397 on hand.
Meanwhile, with Sheriff-Coroner Sandra Hutchens expected to step down in 2018, two candidates so far are running to fill her seat.
Hutchens announced she would step down amid scrutiny of her department’s use of jailhouse informants in county jail facilities and after a scathing report by the American Civil Liberties Union criticizing conditions in county jails.
Hutchens has endorsed Assistant Sheriff Donald Barnes to take her place. Barnes has yet to report any campaign contributions. Hutchens, however, reports having $76,365 in campaign cash on hand.
Aliso Viejo Mayor Dave Harrington, a Republican, has also announced a bid for Hutchens seat. He has loaned his campaign $40,000.
Monday was the deadline for reporting campaign contributions received during the first six months of the year.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said Hutchens may transfer some of her campaign funds to Donald Barnes. That is incorrect. According to county campaign finance rules, candidates can only use their personal funds to make contributions. Voice of OC regrets the error.
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