There are highly competitive County district elections on Fullerton voters’ June 7 Primary ballot for the Area 4 Board of Education (BOE) and the District 4 County Supervisor. The level of funding reported by the campaigns for January 1 through April 23 on the first Pre-Election Form 460 filings highlights the high-stakes competition among the top fundraising candidates.
Four candidates filed for the short term BOE seat, but only Tim Shaw and Paulette Chaffee have reported raising funds—$104,000 and $201,000, respectively. There are no campaign finance filings for David Choi or Ellisa Kim available from the Orange County Registrar’s campaign finance disclosure portal (https://public.netfile.com/pub2/?AID=coc).
Shaw’s funding comes from over 40 donors, including the California Real Estate PAC (CREPAC) who gave $20,000, the Charter Public Schools PAC who gave $25,000, and a $25,000 loan from Mark Bucher, a charter school advocate on the board for directors for the California Policy Center that works to “eliminating public-sector barriers to freedom.” There are no campaign finance limits for the BOE, unlike the BOS for which there is a $2,200 limit per election.
Ms. Chaffee reported contributions from five donors including herself. She has loaned $200,000 to her campaign and collected $1,500 from others, of which the largest is a $1,000 contribution from the LA/OC Building and Construction Trades Council PAC.
Of the three candidates who filed for the BOS seat in District 4, incumbent Doug Chaffee, Buena Park Mayor Sunny Park, and Brea City Council Member Steven Vargas, Park has raised the greatest amount. Park has loaned her campaign $37,500 and has raised nearly $350,000 from more than 370 donors, of which 75% of funds are from individual donors. She has raised $90,000 from others, such as businesses, and has received one contribution of $2,200 from the OC Professional Fire Fighters Association PAC.
Supervisor Chaffee has raised $34,500 from three donors and loaned his campaign $300,000 this year. He also loaned his campaign $300,000 in a prior filing period for a total of $600,000 in loans. His contributors are divided among individuals ($10,050), PACs, and Small Contributor Committees ($9,100), including SEIU, LA/OC Building and Construction Trades, Planned Parenthood, National Union of Healthcare Workers, and AltaMed Action Fund, as well as other contributors ($15,350), primarily businesses.
Vargas’s form shows that he has raised $56,000 from over 60 donors and he has loaned his campaign $100,000. He has received $32,736 from individual contributors, $2,700 from two committees, the Association of OC Deputy District Attorneys ($500) and the Lincoln Club of Orange ($2,200), and $20,550 from others, primarily businesses.
Vargas has raised more than Supervisor Chaffee, but he has loaned his campaign far less than Chaffee, which places him at a financial disadvantage to both Park and Chaffee’s well-funded campaigns. However, he has an advantage that may overcome the financial deficit owing to him being the only Republican on the ballot in a 3-way race against two Democrats. It is likely that the Democratic voters will split their votes between Chaffee and Park with no one winning a simple majority (50%+1) and the seat will go to a top two runoff on the November Ballot, possibly between Vargas and one of the Democrats.
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