Mission Viejo Incumbents Show Early Fundraising Advantage

Mission Viejo’s City Council incumbents are already busy building their campaign war chests for the November election.

Mayor Trish Kelley and Councilman Dave Leckness and have raised $20,093 and $19,650, respectively. Meanwhile, Lance MacLean, who is vying to return to the council after being recalled as mayor earlier this year, has raised $8,847.

Other challengers haven’t done much. Seven of the nine other candidates have yet to secure any cash at all, and the two others have taken in modest amounts.

Leckness’ two biggest special interest backers were Christopher Townsend of Townsend Public Affairs, who gave him $1,500, and the Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, which gave him another $2,500 on Feb. 24 — just 22 days after he was elected to replace MacLean, who was recalled and replaced in a special election on Feb. 2.

MacLean’s return to the campaign field is accompanied by $500 contributions from Southern California Edison, the OC Automobile Dealers Association, and Infiniti of Mission Viejo. He also received $250 from the California Association of Realtors.

Employees and executives of CR&R Inc. — a waste hauler that recently lost a bidding war in the city — also chipped in for the MacLean campaign. Chief Financial Officer Joyce Amato, Vice President Dean Ruffridge, and two employees contributed a total of $999.

Kelley has received contributions from a variety of interests, including the California Association of Realtors, Medix Ambulance, Edison International, Cox Communications, and Townsend of Townsend Public Affairs.

Her biggest backers were Townsend and Park Place Lexus. The lobbyist gave her campaign $1,500, while the Mission Viejo Lexus dealership doled out $1,000.

Only two other candidates reported any cash on hand for their campaigns.

Brian Skalsky, a community services commissioner, reported lending $6,007.56 to himself. And Neil Lonsinger, a former planning commissioner and unsuccessful council candidate, reported having $200 on hand.