Local Politics

Wednesday, Oct 10 2012 04:59 PM

Election notebook: Council hopefuls release fundraising totals, nab endorsements

By The Bakersfield Californian

Bakersfield City Council candidates have turned in financial reports for the first nine months of 2012.

In the Ward 4 race, Pinson raised $6,125, including a $5,000 loan from himself. Contributions stopped around the time he announced he would stop actively campaigning for the seat, in early September. He returned contributions aside from the loan to his campaign and ended the reporting period with $3,076 in cash.

Also in that race, Smith loaned $20,000 to his effort and had $27,350 in contributions. He ended the reporting period with $29,315.

In Ward 2, Maxwell collected $7,550 and loaned his campaign $840. He ended the reporting period with $6,580 in cash on hand. Kirschenmann has loaned his campaign $34,900 and collected $42,416 in contributions, including $5,321 in non-monetary contributions. He ended the period with $61,782.

Mbagwu and Mensch didn't file reports.

Local restauranteur Terry Maxwell has scooped up endorsements from several local business leaders in his bid for a Bakersfield City Council seat.

Business leaders who have endorsed Maxwell are local philanthropist Diane S. Lake of the Lake family that began Rain for Rent and Western Oilfields Supply; Les Clark, executive officer of Independent Oil Producers Agency; Ray Dezember, former president of American National Bank and a philanthropist; Lloyd E. Plank, founder of the Lloyd Plank Foundation charity; and radio station owner Ed Hopple.

"These are community leaders who have made Bakersfield a great place," Maxwell said in a press release from his campaign. They are "people I grew up respecting as role models -- each of them highly regarded business leaders who have helped build our city's economy from the foundation up."

Maxwell is running for the Ward 2 seat, representing much of downtown Bakersfield. Also in that race are Bakersfield Planning Commissioner Elliott Kirschenmann and David Mensch, who teaches people with disabilities to use assistive technology.

Kirschenmann pulled in another endorsement of his own, this one from Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall.

"I strongly believe that Elliott Kirschenmann is the right choice for Ward 2 and I am proud to support him," Hall said in a press release from Kirschenmann's campaign. "Elliott has a real passion and enthusiasm for public service, and that's exactly what we need on today's council. Elliott's experience on, and commitment to, the Bakersfield Planning Commission has prepared him to effectively lead our community."

Bob Smith, the lone candidate actively campaigning for the Ward 4 Bakersfield City Council seat, got an endorsement from Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood.

Smith founded the bicycle safety organization Bike Bakersfield and owns a civil engineering and land planning firm. Ward 4 covers parts of northwest and southwest Bakersfield.

"I am humbled to have the support of Sheriff Youngblood," Smith said in a press release. "One of my priorities as a councilmember is public safety ... The city can do a better job in regards to limiting the automobile and pedestrian deaths that unfortunately affect our community. There are some infrastructure improvements that can help accomplish this, and with my background as a civil engineer, I think I can help."

Smith is the only one of three candidates in the Ward 4 race who's actively campaigning. Oil industry lawyer Harley Pinson dropped out of the race, citing disagreements with his campaign management. But his name will be on the November ballot. Also running is Daniel Mbagwu, though he hasn't campaigned visibly so far.

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