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Unions pour $110,000 into supervisor race

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POSTED October 29, 2012 1:04 a.m.

Just over $336 separates the fundraising of the two contenders to represent Manteca south of Yosemite Avenue as well as Tracy and Mountain House on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

But while there is virtual parity in the size of their campaign war chests, that is where the similarities end in the funds amassed by Rhodesia Ransom and Bob Elliott who are vying to replace termed out Supervisor Leroy Ornellas in the District 5 race in the Nov. 6 election.

In the latest campaign disclosure filings for contributions received through Oct. 20, Elliott has received $142,846.31 in donations and Rhodesia $142,509.40.

Elliott’s money has been spread out among farmers, small businessmen, and individuals, The bulk of Rhodesia’s financial support has come from labor unions to the tune of $110,014.12 so far.

Elliott has two donors who have put up $5,000 or more. They are Tracy restaurant owner Santokh Judge at $7,150 and Tracy area farmer Kaarnail Sandhu at $6,0000. Rhodesia has five donors that have given her campaign more than  $5,000 each in cash: $19,986.80 from the Northern California chapter of Service Employees Union 1021, $10,000 from the San Joaquin County Deputy Sheriff’s Union PAC, $10,000 from SEIU Healthcare Workers PAC, $9,000 from Electrical Workers 595 PAC, and $5,000 from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union PAC.

The SEIU 1021 PAC kicked in another $38,539.12 for in kind services ranging from printing and consulting services to phone banks to bring their overall contribution to Ransom’s campaign to $58,526.12. The SEIU 1021 PAC alone accounts for just under 41 percent of all of her campaign donations.

Both candidates reside in Tracy.

Ransom is emphasizing her desire - and ability - to problem solve as the backbone of her strategy for governing the county. She believes her background running a nonprofit has helped her search for innovative ways to “do more with less” while her training and volunteer effort as a family mediator with the San Joaquin County Mediation Center will enable her to bring opposing sides together to find workable solutions for the county’s challenges.

Ransom is currently the vice chairman for the Tracy Planning Commission, is a member of the Tracy Unified School District Anti-Bullying Committee, an ambassador for the League of Women Voters, and chair of Delta Academy youth mentoring programs.

She is a former member and vice forewoman of the county’s Civil Grand Jury During her stint on the grand jury she helped expose hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasteful spending and improve government transparency and responsiveness.

Elliott believes “we can grow our way out of a recession” and that “we don’t need to the government to bail us out and put us even deeper into debt.” He plans to work toward that by trying to reduce government regulation and scrutinize spending even more.

Elliott serves on the Tracy City Council. He is a retired United States Army Colonel and Special Forces soldier with 30 years of military experience, Elliott was deployed on diplomatic assignments during his Army tenure to United States embassies in Tokyo and Seoul. He got his education at West Point and has had a successful career in nuclear energy with both General Electric and his current employer, Westinghouse.

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