Craft Narrows Cash Gap, Could Benefit From Democratic Party GOTV Weekend Push in Elk Grove

November 4, 2016 |

A hallmark of recent Elk Grove City Council elections has been the ability of incumbents to raise such an overwhelming amount of cash, that potential challengers have been dissuaded from entering the race.

This trend started in 2012 when Councilmen Steve Detrick and Jim Cooper ran for reelection unchallenged. In 2014, Gary Davis was not challenged for his second two-year term as Mayor, and Pat Hume had no opposition for his third term on the City Council.

The two councilmen up for re-election this year, Detrick and Darren Suen, who was appointed in 2014 when Cooper vacated his seat upon his election to the California State Assembly, successfully and quickly cranked up their cash machines in hopes of using this tactic.

But low and behold, both councilmen would not go unchallenged in their respective bids. While the District 1 seat occupied by Suen did draw out one challenger, John Phair, he has mounted what essentially is a stealth candidacy.

Phair has not raised any cash or loaned his campaign any money, and he has not even shown up at least two candidate forums. In an ironic twist, Phair's faux candidacy has been a gift to Suen who could go back to contributors saying he needed more money because he was being challenged.

As for the other race in District 3, Detrick had raised a substantial amount of cash by this summer in the hope that he too would go unchallenged. Instead, there were two candidates, Maureen Craft and Vincent Neuburger, who jumped into the race.  

Neuburger withdrew, even as his name is on the ballot, and threw his support to fellow Democratic candidate Maureen Craft. While Craft still has fewer funds than Detrick, she has narrowed the gap.

In the last several days, Craft has received $6,000 in contributions bringing her total to $19,971. Aside from receiving significant support from several area Democratic Party clubs, and labor unions, real estate developer and political contributor heavyweight Angelo K. Taskopoulos contributed $2,500 earlier in October. 

As of his last campaign finance filing with the City Clerks' office on October 24, Detrick reported having $183,102, of which $102,000 was a personal loan. 

Even though Detrick still has a significant cash advantage, according to press releases in the last several days, Sacramento-area Democratic Party members will be out in force this weekend walking precincts in Elk Grove for Craft and several other candidates. As of this posting, Detrick has not released any plans regarding get out the vote efforts his campaign has planned.

Although neither campaign has shared if they are conducting polls, this Tuesday's race will undoubtedly be the closest contest in the recent electoral history of the Elk Grove City Council. By late Tuesday night, we will have a good idea if Detrick's well-funded operation will prevail over a decently funded and well-staffed campaign by Craft.  



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