Campanale: Chances "slim" of beating Assembly opponent Beth Gaines

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Heading into the home stretch in the 4th District Assembly race, Republican Beth Gaines is running a strong, well-financed campaign that her opponent, Democrat Dennis Campanale, even admits will be difficult to beat. Campanale had not filed a campaign finance statement with the California Secretary of State’s Office, indicating that he had raised less than $5,000. Gaines’ latest report showed she had raised $136,550 between Feb. 20 and April 16, for a total of $232,853 since the start of the year. “Under these conditions, in a very red district, my chances are very slight,” Campanale said Tuesday. “After redistricting, they may be better.” The Gaines campaign has seen money pouring in from outside-the-district interests that anticipate her winning Tuesday’s election to replace her husband, state Sen. Ted Gaines. In recent days, some of the bigger donors have include the California Association of Health Facilities and Chevron Corp. Both donated $3,900 to the Gaines campaign. Gaines campaign manager Andre Levesque said that the fundraising gap is a good sign that Campanale is losing ground. “It’s a clear indication he hasn’t gained any traction but that hasn’t stopped Beth from doing her job, reaching out to voters and telling what she’s going to do,” Levesque said. Donations have also come from in-district donors and Gaines is now taking in campaign support from dozens of volunteers as the election comes down to its final days, he said. “We’ve received many $50 checks and we’re proud of that fact,” Levesque said. Campanale said he had known since he and Gaines moved on to the runoff over six other candidates March 8 that his competitor would be well-financed. “My campaign was very grass roots,” he said. “And I spent a lot of money on my own campaign before March 8. This time, I was hoping for more money from the state Democrats.” That request didn’t materialize and a spokesman even intimated to the Journal that Campanale’s failure to raise his own funds for a candidate’s statement on the election ballot signaled he wasn’t a serious candidate. Campanale said he was disappointed by that comment. “I was the only Democrat in this race and when I ran against Ted Gaines last November,” Campanale said. As Election Day in District 4 approaches, County Clerk Jim McCauley said he’ll be keeping his Richardson Drive office in North Auburn open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday to help process vote-by-mail request and issue vote-by-mail ballots over the counter. “The department is always looking for ways to be more accessible to the voters of the county,” McCauley said. “That is why I began weekend service more than 15 years ago.” Gaines finding funds Here’s a sampling of some of the donations that have recently come into the Beth Gaines election campaign. She has taken in $232,853 since the start of the year while her opponent, Dennis Campanale, has taken in less than $5,000: United Auburn Indian community $2,500 Greater Anesthesia Services PAC $1,000 California Water Association PAC $1,500 Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians $2,000 California Association of Health Facilities $3,900 Miller Coors $1,500 Blue Shield of California $1,500 Cooperative of American Physicians $1,500 Mary Conkey, homemaker, Granite Bay $3,900 Source: California Secretary of State