With less than 70 days until the Nov. 4 election, members of the community are coming out in support of who they wish to see serve as Mayor of Turlock and Mayoral candidates are proudly listing off those names. However, Council candidates have remained less vocal about their supporters.
Mike Brem, candidate for Mayor, has already received the support of several elected officials, including that of current Turlock Mayor John Lazar. At the time of Brem’s announcement to run, Lazar stated that he felt the candidate had the “experience and leadership to benefit our community in the years ahead.”
Current Councilmember Steven Nascimento, who serves on the Citizens for Yes on Measure B Committee (Measure B being the half-cent Turlock road tax to be voted on in the 2014 General November Election), also supports Brem’s candidacy for Mayor, stating at his announcement that he is “the right man for the job.”
Other elected official support comes from: Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, Former Turlock Mayor Brad Bates, Former Turlock City Councilmember Carolyn Lott, Former City Councilmember Larry Rumbeck, and Former Turlock City Treasurer Carl Hillberg.
Also recently on Facebook, the Turlock Rotary page has been showing support for Brem, sharing his campaign page’s posts with words of encouragement.
Brem’s campaign website lists a total of 45 community endorsements.
As of June 30, Brem’s campaign finance forms showed he had monetary contributions totaling $8,923.99.
Some of the “Community Member” endorsers Brem claims on his campaign website were also listed on his June 30 finance form, including Turlock attorney Robert Triebsch who gave a $500 donation and PMZ realtor, Citizens for Yes on Measure B Steering Committee Chair, and Turlock Action for Business Political Action Committee member Jim Theis who also gave a $500 donation.
The campaign form for the first filing period showed Mike Brem for Mayor 2014 received a total of 12 donations, including one from Brem himself for $4,100, totaling nearly half of his fund. The largest donation to the campaign, other than from Brem, came from S.H. Smith Farms at $2,000, as of June 30.
The other candidate for Mayor, Gary Soiseth, also has received support from elected officials, including: U.S. Representative Jeff Denham (R-Turlock), State Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto), Senator Tom Berryhill, Former Congressman George Radanovich, Former Turlock Mayor Curt Andre, Former Turlock Councilman Kurt Spycher, Turlock Irrigation District Director Joe Alamo, Former Turlock Irrigation Director Randy Fiorini, Turlock Unified School District Board Member Loren Holt, and former Turlock Mayoral Candidate Ed Brault.
In March, after Soiseth announced his candidacy for Mayor in the 2014 November General Election, Lazar publicly pulled his name from the race, citing business and family obligations. Less than 24 hours after Lazar stated he would not seek reelection in November, Brault, a retired teacher, submitted his FPPC paperwork to run for mayor.
Then, in June, when Brem entered the race, Brault pulled his name as expected. Originally he had explained that he was running simply for the sake of democracy, so that Soiseth would not run unopposed.
Brault never planned a campaign, however, and now endorses Soiseth.
Soiseth’s Campaign Steering Committee consists of Josh Weimer (Campaign Manager) and Meredith Andre, Michael (Treasurer) and Anna Hicks, Eric and Rebecca Gonsalves, Vaughn and Morgan Brenda, Jonathan and Joy Dravecky, Jay and Kristi Fiorini, Alec and Hilary Smith, and Tommy and Sydnee Tickenoff.
His campaign website lists a total of 48 Turlock community members (with an asterisk noting the names shown are a partial list) supporting him.
Some of the endorsements listed on Soiseth’s campaign website were also monetary contributors to his campaign, according to a campaign finance form as of June 30. Listed as endorsers under “Turlock’s Elected Official’s” on Soiseth’s site were former Turlock City Councilmember Kurt Spycher and Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors Vice President Joe Alamo. Spycher, along with his wife Shirley, donated $250, and Alamo, with his wife Neila, donated $500.
A “Turlock Community Member” listed on the website, former San Francisco Giants pitcher and current public speaker Dave Dravecky donated $500 with his wife Jan.
Soiseth’s campaign manager listed on his site as serving on his “Campaign Steering Committee”, Brownstone Equities Property Manager Josh Weimer, donated $250 to the campaign.
As of June 30, Soiseth’s campaign finance forms showed a total of $32,402 in contributions, including a $5,000 loan made by himself and $1,172 in non-monetary contributions such as food and drinks for his kick-off meet and greet provided by Kurt and Julie Andre. His campaign received monetary donations from a total of 40 contributors.
The campaign Facebook page, Gary Soiseth for Mayor, has a total of 1,109 likes as of Aug. 26. Facebook stats show 287 people are engaging in conversation about Gary Soiseth for Mayor, with 27 new page likes recently, as of Aug. 26. Under most engaged insights, statistics show Turlock as the City, and the age group of people 25 to 34 years old.
The Mike Brem for Mayor Facebook page has 307 likes as of Aug. 26. Statistics listed on the page show that 137 people are talking about Mike Brem for Mayor with 7 new page likes recently, as of Aug. 26. Under most engaged insights the City is Turlock and the age groups are people from 35 to 44 years old and from 55 to 64 years old.
Comparing statistics for TurlockCityNews.com’s articles on the announcement of Soiseth’s campaign for mayor versus Brem’s mayoral campaign announcement, the numbers show that “Gary Soiseth to Run for Turlock Mayor” was viewed at a rate of 2 to 1, with each receiving thousands of views.
Looking at TurlockCityNews.com Facebook statistics for the posts on each of the mayoral announcements, Soiseth’s reached 5,100 users, with 54 shares, likes, and comments, and Brem’s reached 4,000, with 31 shares, likes, and comments. Soiseth’s announcement has 25 percent more click-throughs to TurlockCityNews.com from Facebook posts.
Soiseth’s campaign Facebook page received more engagement on his official filing post with 90 likes and 13 shares Aug. 6. Brem’s Facebook post July 25 on pulling papers received 52 likes and four shares.
Turlock City Council candidates though, have been less likely to name their main endorsers, at least as of yet. Candidates for Council include: Matthew Jacob, Sergio Alvarado, Donald Babadalir, and incumbents Forrest White and Bill DeHart.
The only two candidates who have a campaign website are Jacob and Babadalir but neither of them directly list endorsers.
Most of the candidates do have Facebook pages, some campaign pages and others personal.
Because Jacob and Alvarado’s pages are the only Facebook pages that are not set up as personal, they are the only ones that provide statistics. With 542 likes as of Aug. 22, Jacob’s page shows that 566 people are talking about Jacob, and there were 153 new page likes recently as of Aug. 26. Alvarado’s page, Sergio Alvarado – Turlock Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commissioner has 122 likes, with no people talking about the page and no new likes recently shown as of Aug. 26.
Babadalir’s page, which was created in April for the campaign, was set up as a personal page. The Donald Babadalir Campaign page has 704 friends, with 35 recently added as of Aug. 26. DeHart has a personal Facebook page that he also uses for his business and campaign endeavors, and Forrest White is on Faebook but does not appear to be very active.
TurlockCityNews.com will provide continued updates on the candidates and their campaigning for the 2014 November General Election in the coming days and weeks.