By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Durossette raises most cash in Ceres mayor's race
• Couper Condit leads in collecting City Council campaign dollars
Ceres mayor combo
Ceres mayoral candidates Bret Durossette (left) and Javier Lopez (right).

Bret Durossette has raised over six times the amount of campaign funds generated by opponent Javier Lopez in the Ceres mayoral race.

That was one of the surprises contained in the first pre-election campaign finance disclosure statement required of candidates running for public office to be filed with the state Fair Political Practices Commission. The document covers amounts raised and spent for campaigns between July 1 and Sept. 19.

The release of Form 460s from Ceres City Clerk Diane Nayares-Perez also revealed that City Council candidate Couper Condit generated over $10,400 in contributions in his quest to unseat incumbent District 4 City Councilman Mike Kline and beat out two other competitors. Condit has amassed more cash than any person running for eiter two open council seats.

In the District 3 council race, Bret Silveira was the candidate with the largest amount of campaign cash at $8,550.

Mayoral hopeful Durossette, a member of the Ceres City Council since 2008, reported receiving $20,200 in campaign cash for the period while Lopez reported receiving $3,216.32 in contributions.

According to their respective forms, Durossette spent $17,738.30 and Lopez spent $3,190.32.

Campaign contributions to Durossette included $2,500 apiece from Dirk Wyatt and his father Jim Wyatt of Ceres, Kathryn Bertolotti of the Hughson Bertolotti Ranch and Bertolotti Transfer. MRI Holdings of Modesto donated $1,000 and $500 was donated by Try Us Trucking of Ceres. Contributions of $1,500 each came from the Ceres Professional Firefighters Association, Highway Express of Hughson and Bhupinder Bal, a Modesto farmer. The defunct Cannella for Supervisor campaign committee chipped in $1,000. Silverline Express of Ceres, Inderjit Toor Construction of Modesto, land attorney George Petrulakis of Modesto, Ceres Recycling Center and ST Express of Ceres each donated $500 while retired Sheriff’s Captain Richard McKay donated $200.

Durossette spent $6,045.40 with Pinnacle Printing of Modesto for campaign materials; $1,250 with the city of Ceres for a candidate filing fees; $1,736.63 in literature from Gowan’s Printing in Modesto; $1,325 in printing from Pinnace Printing; $650 worth of campaign paraphernalia from Amanda Tackett of Ceres; $481 for an ad in the COPS Voter Guide; $700 for an ad in the Ceres Courier; $3,848.57 to ABS of Modesto for campaign literature; $747.50 to Cross Currents of Morgan Hill for literature; $837 to appear in the Budget Watchdog mailer; $323 in the Cal Sal mailer; $588 in the Election Digest;  $262 to participate in the CA Voter Guide mailer; and a $209.20 donation to Cost Less Foods.

Durossette reported that his campaign ended the period with $7,961.70 in cash.

Most of Lopez’s campaign cash came from his own household and family members. Irma Lopez of Ceres donated $1,000 to Lopez’s campaign while the candidate gave his campaign $690 and his wife Etefunia Lopez gave $500. Received were non-monetary donations of $926.32 from Fitness Tycoon of Modesto for campaign T-shirts and $100 for administrative services from LC Tax & Notary Service of Ceres.

Lopez spent $2,164 for the period, including $1,756.50 on signs from a Texas printer. Other expenses were for Facebook and Google ads, $25 for a website domain, $162.53 with Home Depot for wood and supplies; and $90.60 with a Chinese business for printing of political hand-outs.

He ended the filing period with $25 cash on hand.

Council races

In the Ceres City Council District 3 race, the top campaign fundraisers, from most to least, were:

• Bret Silveira, $8,550 with $3,630.93 expended;

• Juan J.P. Vazquez reported receiving $3,944.89 in donations

• Mohinder Kanda, $5,000;

• Brandy Meyer reported $2,989 in campaign contributions

Bret Silveira, a deputy with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, received a number of larger contributions. The campaign reported receiving $1,000 donations each from Gary Baird of Oakdale, a card room owner; Mike Reynolds who owns Kase Manufacturing; Senior Care Alliance of Modesto and the Ceres Firefighters Political Action Committee. Central Valley Hospice donated $700 while donations of $500 apiece to Silveira’s campaign were from the Ceres Police Officers Association Political Action Committee, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s K-9 Association, Footnotes Dance Studio in Ceres, and Lawrence Silveira of Auburn, Wash. Try-Us Transportation and Mike Tamana Freight Lines, Paul Raj and Richard McKay, all of Ceres, each donated $250. Contributions of $200 came from Paul Laffoon and John Silveira, both of Ceres. Edward Powell of Hemet donated $150 while $100 donations came from Ceres Recycling Center, Onkar Builders and Phil de la Porte.

Where did Silveira’s campaign spend the money? COPS Voter Guide was paid $250 and Jason’s Mobile Decal was paid $2,932.47 for campaign signs. Home Depot sales of $198.46 for sign stakes were made as was $100 for Sara Briggs Photography for a photo shoot. Graphic design work through Thania Jiminez of Modesto cost $100 while ABS Direct mailers saw $987.37 worth of business from Silveira’s campaign.

Kanda’s campaign reported receiving a $5,000 loan from the candidate himself but no contributions.  Kanda reported spending $4,572 but his form did not break down those expenditures.

Juan J.P. Vazquez reported receiving $3,944.89 in donations and spending $4,097.41 with an outstanding debt of $539.38. His cash donations were reported as follows: $207 from Karen Warner, Rep. Josh Harder’s District Chief of Staff; $882 from himself, listed as a UPS driver; and $100 contributions from Chris Ricci and Ashur Goriel, both of Modesto, Jennifer Dees of San Francisco, and $100 from Leticia Vasquez of Livingston; $125 from Catherine Doo of Denair. He reported receiving $537.39 worth of flyers from Rosalinda Vierra of Ceres, a Yosemite Community College District program specialist.

Brandy Meyer reported $2,989 in campaign contributions and spending $2,589. Those donations included $500 for Councilman Channce Condit.  Donations of $100 were received from Pastor James Stochl, a family member in Fresno, Eileen Stokman, Renee Ledbetter, Bettye Welsh and Dovie Wilson, all of Ceres, and from Arlene Vilas of Turlock. Meyer gave her own campaign $550 while Kathleen Doyle of Modesto and Bernadette Richardson of Advanced Building Cleaners each contributed $200. A $120 check was cut from her husband, Keith Meyer.

Council District 4 race

In the Ceres City Council race Couper Condit led the pack of four candidates by amassing $10,409 while spending $4,359.05.

Incumbent Councilman Mike Kline reported receiving no contributions and making no expenditures for re-election.

Eric Gonzalez, who has been low-key in the race, did not file a campaign finance statement.

While Condit donated $1,000 to his own campaign, most of Condit’s campaign war chest was financed by interests outside of Ceres, many of them through political connections of the Condit family forged over the decades.  His biggest contribution was a $1,500 donation from the Long Beach based labor union, the IBEW Local 684 PAC. Paul W. Caruso Investments of Modesto donated Condit’s campaign $1,000. Another $1,000 donation was made by Prabhjot Singh, president of Turlock Petroleum.  

A $500 contribution came from Mike Lynch, his grandfather’s former congressional chief of staff and owner of a consulting firm in Modesto. Checks for $500 also came from Turlock Auto Plaza dealer Devinder Singh Bains of Hughson, Anne Baird of Stockton, Sam David of Modesto, Surjit Malhi of Turlock, Carmen Morad of Modesto, Mike Tamana Freight Lines and Try-Us Transportation, both in Ceres.

Lee Neves, a Morgan Hill consultant with Cross Currents, donated $110 to Condit’s campaign. 

Giving $250 contributions were Matthew Moretti of Sacramento, a former staff member of then Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza; the Oakland-based trade labor union, Northern California Carpenters Regional Council; Newman newspaper owner and businessman Bill Mattos of Newman and Mel-Delin Dairy of Turlock.

Milton E. Richard  of Turlock cut a $200 check to Condit’s campaign.

The list of $100 contributors includes one from El Cajon attorney James Stephen Peace El. Peace was a state Assemblyman who forged an alliance with then Assemblyman Gary Condit, Couper’s grandfather, as the so-called Gang of Five. Other $100 contributors were Jonathan Arambel of Sacramento, Cherilyn Bairos of Oakdale, Carol Dahmen of Carmichael, John Lazar of Turlock, Rand Commercial Properties of Modesto.

Condit’s campaign reported spending $1,401.62 in printing with Gowans Printing of Modesto, $462.14 for signs at the Sign Depot, $420.97 with Integrated Solutions of San Diego for office expenses, and $509.40 with the KAL Group of Hilmar, of whose owner, Kelly Lawler is Condit’s campaign treasurer.

Council candidate Daniel Martinez reported receiving $1,325 in contributions of which $1,125 came from addresses outside of Ceres and some family member. He contributed $100 to his campaign.

Martinez stated that his campaign spent $1,264.70, ending the filing period with $60.30. Those expenditures included $942 in campaign mailers, $80 in photos for campaign literature and $96 for clothes in which to campaign.