by Hank Sims
Six days until the big election, and the story right now is up in the Fifth Division, where incumbent candidate Charles Ollivier is embarking on a big media push. According to papers filed with the Elections Office on Tuesday, Ollivier made a last-minute $5,000 TV buy this week. He also spent $2,300 on a new round of mailers.
Where'd the cash come from? From Ollivier himself. The candidate loaned his campaign $5,000 this week. That's on top of the $3,000 he floated himself earlier in the month. It'll be interesting to go back and check disclosure statements after the election. The usual way of things is that someone with deep pockets will backfill those loans after the election is over.
The Ollivier campaign pulled in around $10,000, apart from the loans. Notable donors: Supervisors Jimmy Smith ($100) and Jill Geist ($200), former assemblyman and railroad boss Dan Hauser ($100) and Ollivier's brethren in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ($1,000).
Ollivier's opponent, Pat Higgins, isn't as flush. It's harder to get a handle on his totals because his people filled out the forms wrong, but it looks like Higgins took in about $9,000 total. A whole lot of $100-$500 donations here and there. Higgins campaign manager Bill Kier kicked in $1,000, as did nursery owner Richard Hesselein of Allentown, N.J. Higgins heads into the home stretch with only $1,330 in the bank.
Down in the Second Division, the big story has been the powerhouse fundraising prowess of 77-year-old incumbent Roy Curless, utterly shredding the field with $23,980 raised. As of last week, Curless was sitting on a $7,000 war chest. By contrast, challenger Carlos Quilez has raised only $4,015 total, and $1,000 of that was a loan to himself. Notable donors? Sonja Baur of Garberville ($500) and SoHum attorney -- and friend of the NCJ -- Eric Kirk ($100). Quilez's disclosure forms list Kirk's occupation as "retired." Hopefully this means he will be able to devote even more time to his blog.
Takeaway: By the numbers, at least, things are looking pretty darn good for the incumbents right now. There's a lot of grassroots hustle and bustle working for Higgins and Quilez, but will it be enough?