Like it or not, money plays an important role in political campaigns across the country, from Calaveras County to Washington, D.C.

Candidates for federal, state and local offices have been busy raising funds, and campaign finance laws require that these campaign contributions be disclosed to the public.

This year, there are three competitive races for county supervisor in Calaveras County. In District 1, Sharon Romano is running against incumbent Gary Tofanelli. In District 2, Laree “Ree” Garza will face off against incumbent Jack Garamendi. And in District 4, Amanda Folendorf seeks to unseat incumbent Dennis Mills.

In the race in District 1, Romano has raised $4,087, which includes two loans totaling $1,950 that the candidate made to her campaign committee. Marti Crane, of Valley Springs, and Mark Bolger, of Mountain Ranch, made the largest donations, each contributing $200.

Tofanelli has not filed a 460 Form with the Calaveras County Elections Office, which means that he does not have a controlled campaign committee and has not and does not expect to raise or spend $2,000 or more during one calendar year over the course of the campaign.

In District 2, Garza has received $2,645 in contributions, including a loan of $197 that the candidate made to her campaign committee. The largest donation came in the form of yard signs valued at $591 from Ann Hill, of Mokelumne Hill.

Garamendi has taken in $13,950 in the current campaign, which includes two loans totaling $1,250 that the candidate made to his campaign committee. His largest donation was for $2,600 from Scott Balch, of Murphys. Labor unions contributed $7,000 to his campaign.

For the supervisorial race in District 4, Folendorf has raised $19,359, including $4,000 that the candidate loaned to her campaign committee. Her largest donation came from Janet Smith, of Murphys, who contributed $1,000.

Mills has received $12,356 in contributions, which includes a $4,710 loan that the candidate made to his campaign committee. His largest donation was for $975 from the Calaveras County Republican Central Committee.

On March 3, county residents will also help narrow down the race for U.S. representative in the state’s Congressional District 4. In the primary, incumbent Rep. Tom McClintock faces five challengers: Democrat Brynne Kennedy, Republican Julianne Benzel, Republican Jamie Byers, Republican Jacob Thomas and Independent Robert Lawton.

As of Dec. 31, 2019, McClintock has raised $958,034 in contributions, according to data from the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) website. Kennedy is close behind with $750,401, and Benzel has taken in $82,413. FEC data on contributions from the remaining candidates is unavailable.

In the race for the presidency, Donald Trump has raised $211.3 million. Trump’s Republican challengers lag far behind, with Roque De La Fuente raising $15.3 million; Bill Weld taking in $1.7 million; and Joe Walsh receiving $480,115.

On the Democratic side, Tom Steyer has raised $206.2 million; Michael Bloomberg has taken in $200.3 million; Bernie Sanders has received $109 million; Elizabeth Warren has raised $81.9 million; Pete Buttigieg has collected $76.7 million; Joe Biden has taken in $61 million; Andrew Yang has received $31.7 million; Amy Klobuchar has raised $28.9 million; Tulsi Gabbard has collected $12.6 million; Michael Bennet has taken in $6.8 million; and Deval Patrick has received $2.2 million.



Noah Berner has lived in Calaveras County most of his life, and graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in history.

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