With the Tuesday, June 3 primary election less than a week away, supporters of the three candidates for Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner — as well as those in support of Measure A and Measure F — will be in high gear as the clock ticks inexorably toward the polls' opening.
Middle school students have been on the street waving signs in support of Measure A, which have the district borrow $35 million in order to fund the replacement of the district's 70-year old middle school. Property owners would pay off the bonds over a maximum of 30 years through a property tax of $57 per $100,000 of assessed home value.
“We want to make sure we've left everything on the court,” said Derek Timm, campaign chairperson for the Yes on A committee. “We're contacting all the Election Day voters by mail, we're going to be calling, we've been walking neighborhoods for the entire month, and we're going to be continuing that this weekend.”
As of May 17, the Yes on A campaign reported a war chest of $12,690 — out of a reported $21,504 in total contributions.
The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s race has been an interesting one. Santa Cruz County Chief Deputy Jim Hart is probably considered the front-runner, with endorsements from current Sheriff Phil Wowak and local politicians including Rep. Sam Farr.
“We're actively campaigning from 9 in the morning till 8 at night,” said Hart. “I'm treating it like a tight basketball game and I'm just trying to finish it up in the fourth quarter.”
Hart said that he is in awe of the amount of support he's gotten.
“I'm really amazed by the amount of support I've gotten from the community and elected officials,” the Scotts Valley resident said. “We've got dozens of volunteers out walking precincts, and we've got phone banks going.”
Amanda Robinson, one of the staffers of Hart's campaign, said that campaigners were “just working on reaching the voters in Santa Cruz County and making sure that they’re aware of Jim Hart and educating them about the race.
“It's the same message — making sure that they know (Hart) is committed to reducing recidivism, community policing, and adding more deputy sheriffs to the streets.”
As of Saturday, May 17, Hart's campaign reported a war chest of $11,216.84 — out of a reported $54,265 in total contributions for the year.
Roger Wildey, a retired lieutenant and active deputy, has received an increasing amount letters and phone calls to the Press Banner in support of his campaign. He said that his campaign would be hard at work in these final days.
“I'm going to try and meet as many people as I can,” the Corralitos resident said. “We're going to get the word out as much as we can.”
Wildey said that he feels very confident in the amount of support he's received and added that he plans to spend time canvassing, as well as meeting with constituents in his Downtown Santa Cruz campaign headquarters.
“We're really ramping up; we're going to be doing a lot and being very public,” he said. “I feel pretty good about the momentum we've gotten — a groundswell of support.”
Wildey said that he has enjoyed meeting with voters and said that it would help lay the groundwork for a productive dialogue between the sheriff's office and the public if he wins the election.
“People are pretty tired of business as usual and being left out of the loop,” he said. “If you let people know you're listening and you respond to them, it turns into a real community effort to make things better.”
As of Saturday, May 17, Wildey's campaign reported a war chest of $6,843.85 — out of a reported $25,459.86 in contributions.
Bob Pursley, a longtime lieutenant with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, said that he plans to spend the remaining days before the election talking to as many voters as he can.
“I'm just getting out there, being seen, and talking to as many people as I can talk to,” the Aptos resident said. “It's going to be nonstop between now and Tuesday.”
Pursley, who has worked as a personal trainer since retiring from the sheriff's office in 2013, said that the election is a historic moment is Santa Cruz County.
“This is the first time in 20 years the citizens in Santa Cruz County will have the chance to elect a sheriff,” he said. “There's usually only one person on the ballot — this time you have three people on the ballot.”
Pursley said that he plans to work to spread his message of community policing and the need for more deputies in uniform “until it's done.”
“I'm just trying to reach out to the community, get the word out there, and help them make an informed choice,” he said. “I'm coming across people who haven’t made their minds up yet and I'm trying to help them.”
As of Saturday, May 17, Pursley's campaign reported a war chest of $1,281.54 remaining out of a reported $7,892.63 in total contributions.
According to data on the Santa Cruz County Elections Department website, the Yes on F committee for Safe Local Parks, primary supporters Measure F, reported having $30,526.41 left to spend out of a reported $58,150 in total contributions.
Measure F is the countywide ballot measure that calls for replacing an expiring $6.58 annual charge to county homeowners with an annual charge of $8.50 — an increase of $1.92 per improved structure in the name of improving and maintaining the Santa Cruz County Parks.
For more information about the Tuesday, June 3 primary election, visit the Santa Cruz County Elections Office website at www.votescount.com.to comment, email Joe Shreve at email@example.com, call 438-2500