Where is the race for County Supervisor Going?

A year ago, Jim Provenza was President of the Davis School Board, John Ferrera was a largely unknown chief of Staff for State Senator Denise Ducheney, and Cathy Kennedy, if it is possible was even less known. At that point it looked like Jim Provenza was odds on favorite to win the seat.

But something has happened since then. And actually it largely has happened since January 1, 2008.

Mr. Ferrera has opened up an $18,000 financial lead over his closest rival–$73,000 to $55,000.

The difference has occurred largely since January 1 where Ferrera has added $34,000 to just $12,500 by Mr. Provenza.

Given the relatively large advantage that Jim Provenza still enjoys in name recognition it is not the most alarming factor that his opponent has out raised him. Although the magnitude of the recent money has to be concerning.

The most alarming factor is probably that a lot of the large contributions to John Ferrera have come from organized labor–a group that one would have suspected that Jim Provenza would have held his own. In fact there is no apparent reason why labor should be picking John Ferrera over Jim Provenza–both men have strong ties to Sacramento, although Ferrera is Chief of Staff to the budget chair. Provenza has been regarded by many to be a strong advocate for labor, but some suspect the purse strings attached to the Chair of the Budget Committee maybe influencing the movement towards Ferrera. Moreover, many of those endorsing are building trades who are supporting the candidate widely seen as more in favor of development.

John Ferrera also received a contribution from a Texas oil company–Conoco which would seem like an odd contribution for a County Supervisor campaign.

Meanwhile, Jim Provenza received the unanimous endorsement from the Davis Democratic Club.

At this point, Cathy Kennedy appears to be little more than a spoiler who figures to push this race into November.

That said, she has amassed several interesting endorsements. We have previously reported on the Davis Police Officers Association and Supervisor Matt Rexroad. Now add to those, Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig, the Yolo County Sheriff’s Officers Association, Supervisor Duane Chamberlain, and Woodland City Councilman Jeff Monroe, who is himself a Sheriff’s Deputy.

Of those, I am perhaps a bit surprised to see Duane Chamberlain on there, Chamberlain has been one of the most consistent voices for farmland protection in the county. And while Ms. Kennedy has vowed to uphold the pass-through agreement on residential development, she has suggested she would support county imposed-peripheral development for commercial ventures.

The Vanguard had Jim Provenza on its radio show on KDRT last week. <Listen to it here>. We are working to get John Ferrera and Cathy Kennedy on as well.

At this point, it seems that this race is destined for a November runoff, the question is who will have the advantage at that point.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

Author

  • David Greenwald

    Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Categories:

Elections

72 comments

  1. You answered your own question, John’s position with Ducheny is the reason for labor money.

    How can labor attempt to influence the Senator who essentially authors the Senate’s version of the State budget? Help her chief of staff get elected.

    Will the labor money have any influence? Who knows, but it never hurts to support the guy who’s boss could potentially do things for you.

  2. You answered your own question, John’s position with Ducheny is the reason for labor money.

    How can labor attempt to influence the Senator who essentially authors the Senate’s version of the State budget? Help her chief of staff get elected.

    Will the labor money have any influence? Who knows, but it never hurts to support the guy who’s boss could potentially do things for you.

  3. You answered your own question, John’s position with Ducheny is the reason for labor money.

    How can labor attempt to influence the Senator who essentially authors the Senate’s version of the State budget? Help her chief of staff get elected.

    Will the labor money have any influence? Who knows, but it never hurts to support the guy who’s boss could potentially do things for you.

  4. You answered your own question, John’s position with Ducheny is the reason for labor money.

    How can labor attempt to influence the Senator who essentially authors the Senate’s version of the State budget? Help her chief of staff get elected.

    Will the labor money have any influence? Who knows, but it never hurts to support the guy who’s boss could potentially do things for you.

  5. Labor attempting to “buy” influence by financially backing Ducheny’s chief of staff… this has a distinctly offensive odor that will do Ferrara more harm than good.

  6. Labor attempting to “buy” influence by financially backing Ducheny’s chief of staff… this has a distinctly offensive odor that will do Ferrara more harm than good.

  7. Labor attempting to “buy” influence by financially backing Ducheny’s chief of staff… this has a distinctly offensive odor that will do Ferrara more harm than good.

  8. Labor attempting to “buy” influence by financially backing Ducheny’s chief of staff… this has a distinctly offensive odor that will do Ferrara more harm than good.

  9. Just because one candidate raises more money than another does not necessarily mean they have that much of an advantage. Voters are not necessarily impressed by slick brochures and expensive TV spots, or whatever. Having said that, my biggest dilemma as a voter is that the only candidate I am familiar with is Jim Provenza. Don’t know anything about Ferrara at all, or Kennedy for that matter. Looking forward to DPD’s report on what all these candidates stand for…

  10. Just because one candidate raises more money than another does not necessarily mean they have that much of an advantage. Voters are not necessarily impressed by slick brochures and expensive TV spots, or whatever. Having said that, my biggest dilemma as a voter is that the only candidate I am familiar with is Jim Provenza. Don’t know anything about Ferrara at all, or Kennedy for that matter. Looking forward to DPD’s report on what all these candidates stand for…

  11. Just because one candidate raises more money than another does not necessarily mean they have that much of an advantage. Voters are not necessarily impressed by slick brochures and expensive TV spots, or whatever. Having said that, my biggest dilemma as a voter is that the only candidate I am familiar with is Jim Provenza. Don’t know anything about Ferrara at all, or Kennedy for that matter. Looking forward to DPD’s report on what all these candidates stand for…

  12. Just because one candidate raises more money than another does not necessarily mean they have that much of an advantage. Voters are not necessarily impressed by slick brochures and expensive TV spots, or whatever. Having said that, my biggest dilemma as a voter is that the only candidate I am familiar with is Jim Provenza. Don’t know anything about Ferrara at all, or Kennedy for that matter. Looking forward to DPD’s report on what all these candidates stand for…

  13. An oil company giving money to a candidate running for Board of Supervisor in Davis? That raises a Red Flag. What interests do they have in Davis?

    I’m sorry, I just don’t trust someone who gets endorsements based on what position his/her boss holds in Sacramento.

    And I hope Ferrera doesn’t even think of supporting more developments in Davis. At this point I’m leaning more towards Provenza.

  14. An oil company giving money to a candidate running for Board of Supervisor in Davis? That raises a Red Flag. What interests do they have in Davis?

    I’m sorry, I just don’t trust someone who gets endorsements based on what position his/her boss holds in Sacramento.

    And I hope Ferrera doesn’t even think of supporting more developments in Davis. At this point I’m leaning more towards Provenza.

  15. An oil company giving money to a candidate running for Board of Supervisor in Davis? That raises a Red Flag. What interests do they have in Davis?

    I’m sorry, I just don’t trust someone who gets endorsements based on what position his/her boss holds in Sacramento.

    And I hope Ferrera doesn’t even think of supporting more developments in Davis. At this point I’m leaning more towards Provenza.

  16. An oil company giving money to a candidate running for Board of Supervisor in Davis? That raises a Red Flag. What interests do they have in Davis?

    I’m sorry, I just don’t trust someone who gets endorsements based on what position his/her boss holds in Sacramento.

    And I hope Ferrera doesn’t even think of supporting more developments in Davis. At this point I’m leaning more towards Provenza.

  17. It’s been an interesting campaign so far, and Sunday’s article about their $$ raising efforts added another interesting twist. From where I sit (in the bleachers), I suspect Jim seriously underestimated John’s potential strength as a candidate, while significantly over-estimating his own appeal to the broader constituency in the 4th District. He made a few friends while serving on the school board, but also made a goodly number of enemies and developed a reputation as a political schemer of sorts. As far as the Sacramento angle is concerned, John’s in the catbird seat so far as his job with Ducheny is concerned. But beyond that headline, he’s also developed a solid reputation as a “doer” and as a serious policy person on transportation, budget, and other issues of relevance to county operations. No surprise that he would gather a lot of Sacramento donations, but he’s been out in the neighborhoods of the 4th District, too. I would, however, urge him to return the Conoco dough … too much baggage associated with that kind of “help.” All things considered (cue theme music), John’s made this a real race.
    Jim’s got time to turn this around, but with the good ship Yamada taking on water, those coattails won’t be of much help. As for Cathy Kennedy? That’s a bit of a puzzler. Certainly an eclectic group of endorsers. We’ll see what gets smoked out in the weeks ahead.

  18. It’s been an interesting campaign so far, and Sunday’s article about their $$ raising efforts added another interesting twist. From where I sit (in the bleachers), I suspect Jim seriously underestimated John’s potential strength as a candidate, while significantly over-estimating his own appeal to the broader constituency in the 4th District. He made a few friends while serving on the school board, but also made a goodly number of enemies and developed a reputation as a political schemer of sorts. As far as the Sacramento angle is concerned, John’s in the catbird seat so far as his job with Ducheny is concerned. But beyond that headline, he’s also developed a solid reputation as a “doer” and as a serious policy person on transportation, budget, and other issues of relevance to county operations. No surprise that he would gather a lot of Sacramento donations, but he’s been out in the neighborhoods of the 4th District, too. I would, however, urge him to return the Conoco dough … too much baggage associated with that kind of “help.” All things considered (cue theme music), John’s made this a real race.
    Jim’s got time to turn this around, but with the good ship Yamada taking on water, those coattails won’t be of much help. As for Cathy Kennedy? That’s a bit of a puzzler. Certainly an eclectic group of endorsers. We’ll see what gets smoked out in the weeks ahead.

  19. It’s been an interesting campaign so far, and Sunday’s article about their $$ raising efforts added another interesting twist. From where I sit (in the bleachers), I suspect Jim seriously underestimated John’s potential strength as a candidate, while significantly over-estimating his own appeal to the broader constituency in the 4th District. He made a few friends while serving on the school board, but also made a goodly number of enemies and developed a reputation as a political schemer of sorts. As far as the Sacramento angle is concerned, John’s in the catbird seat so far as his job with Ducheny is concerned. But beyond that headline, he’s also developed a solid reputation as a “doer” and as a serious policy person on transportation, budget, and other issues of relevance to county operations. No surprise that he would gather a lot of Sacramento donations, but he’s been out in the neighborhoods of the 4th District, too. I would, however, urge him to return the Conoco dough … too much baggage associated with that kind of “help.” All things considered (cue theme music), John’s made this a real race.
    Jim’s got time to turn this around, but with the good ship Yamada taking on water, those coattails won’t be of much help. As for Cathy Kennedy? That’s a bit of a puzzler. Certainly an eclectic group of endorsers. We’ll see what gets smoked out in the weeks ahead.

  20. It’s been an interesting campaign so far, and Sunday’s article about their $$ raising efforts added another interesting twist. From where I sit (in the bleachers), I suspect Jim seriously underestimated John’s potential strength as a candidate, while significantly over-estimating his own appeal to the broader constituency in the 4th District. He made a few friends while serving on the school board, but also made a goodly number of enemies and developed a reputation as a political schemer of sorts. As far as the Sacramento angle is concerned, John’s in the catbird seat so far as his job with Ducheny is concerned. But beyond that headline, he’s also developed a solid reputation as a “doer” and as a serious policy person on transportation, budget, and other issues of relevance to county operations. No surprise that he would gather a lot of Sacramento donations, but he’s been out in the neighborhoods of the 4th District, too. I would, however, urge him to return the Conoco dough … too much baggage associated with that kind of “help.” All things considered (cue theme music), John’s made this a real race.
    Jim’s got time to turn this around, but with the good ship Yamada taking on water, those coattails won’t be of much help. As for Cathy Kennedy? That’s a bit of a puzzler. Certainly an eclectic group of endorsers. We’ll see what gets smoked out in the weeks ahead.

  21. Provenza did the right thing in getting Murphy shoved out the door, and the Old Davis political establishment is never going to forgive him for it.

    They are, to use a term from the presidential race, going to throw the “kitchen sink” at him. Given the apathetic political attitude that DPD described a few days ago, Provenza may have a tough fight ahead. He needs, and deserves, all the support that people can give him.

    –Richard Estes

  22. Provenza did the right thing in getting Murphy shoved out the door, and the Old Davis political establishment is never going to forgive him for it.

    They are, to use a term from the presidential race, going to throw the “kitchen sink” at him. Given the apathetic political attitude that DPD described a few days ago, Provenza may have a tough fight ahead. He needs, and deserves, all the support that people can give him.

    –Richard Estes

  23. Provenza did the right thing in getting Murphy shoved out the door, and the Old Davis political establishment is never going to forgive him for it.

    They are, to use a term from the presidential race, going to throw the “kitchen sink” at him. Given the apathetic political attitude that DPD described a few days ago, Provenza may have a tough fight ahead. He needs, and deserves, all the support that people can give him.

    –Richard Estes

  24. Provenza did the right thing in getting Murphy shoved out the door, and the Old Davis political establishment is never going to forgive him for it.

    They are, to use a term from the presidential race, going to throw the “kitchen sink” at him. Given the apathetic political attitude that DPD described a few days ago, Provenza may have a tough fight ahead. He needs, and deserves, all the support that people can give him.

    –Richard Estes