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Lane leads in council campaign funding
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Ken Lane, the incumbent in the Ceres City Council race, has clobbered his challengers in fundraising efforts for the Nov. 5 municipal election.

Candidates for office are required to regularly report their campaign fund amounts and expenditures and the statement that reflects activity between July 1 and Sept. 21 shows Lane collecting $9,750 in campaign cash. That pales to the $915 reported by Hugo Molina and the $500 in Linda Ryno's campaign fund.

Lane reported receiving $2,500 from the city's refuse collection contractor, Bertolotti Ceres Disposal, and $2,000 from Ceres concrete contractor K&D Enterprises and $1,000 from Dr. Daniel Lucky. M&B Residential of Turlock contributed $2,500 to Lane. County Supervisor Jim DeMartini gave Lane $500 while Jim Bear, Ed Persike and Sid Long each gave $100. Ceres resident Bill Bhatti of Onkar Builders donated $800 to Lane.

The same report showed Lane spending $1,352 prior to Sept. 21. Those expenditures include $1,000 for a candidate's statement in the sample ballot and $210 to Robin Johnson for campaign materials.

Hugo Molina reported receiving $915 in contributions coupled with a $1,000 loan to his own campaign. State Senator Anthony Cannella cut Molina's campaign a $500 check and Jake Zuniga of Power House Realty contributed $100. The Ceres Planning Commission also reported receiving $315 in non-monetary campaign contributions.

His report to the state Fair Political Practices Commission showed $653.21 in expenditures for a cash balance of $1,261.79 as of Sept. 21. Those expenditures included $223.25 to Alfonso's Mexican Bar & Grill in Ceres for a fundraising event and $429.96 for signs from the Sign Depot.

Linda Ryno reported a $500 contribution from her mother, Elfriede Fitzwater, a Manteca senior citizen. Up until Sept. 21 Ryno only spent $32.34 on her campaign for City Council.

By Thursday the candidates are required to report their campaign funding for the reporting period of Sept. 22 to Oct. 19.

Lane is considered by local political watchers as a favorite to become the top vote-getter in the race. In the three-person race of 2009, Lane was in the middle of the pack with the support of 1,521 voters. Both Ryno and Molina ran unsuccessful council campaigns in November 2011 and pulled numbers far less.

In the 2011 three-person race, Councilman Eric Ingwerson dominated with 1,225 votes (38.37 percent), defeating Ryno who collected 1,078 votes (33.76 percent) and Molina who trailed in third place with 879 votes (27.53 percent).

Other races
Ceres Unified School District board trustees Betty Davis, Mike Welsh, Lourdes Perez and Valli Wigt are not on the ballot because they were not challenged. All four School Board incumbents will be automatically reappointed to four-year terms on the Ceres Unified School District board because they were uncontested in the Nov. 5 election.

The race for the Stanislaus County Board of Education for Trustee Area #2 has pitted Alice J. Pollard against Hughson farmer Christopher Barth. Trustee Area #5, which includes Ceres, has challengers in community volunteer Adriana Garcia and Newman business owner Bob Vizzolini.
The Keyes Union School District generates three candidates for three open seats for School Board, which means an appointment will be made in lieu of an election. The terms of Jeff Reed, Jimmy Emmons Sr., and Tony Aguilar expire this year. Aguilar chose not to run again. Candidates for the three seats are Reed, Emmons and Audrey Mercer and will each be appointed.

Residents of Keyes will be voting for representatives to their Community Services District Board. The seats occupied by William Alexander, Davie Landers and Eddie Jones all expire this year. All three are seeking re-election with challenger Johnathon Parker in the mix.

Harinder Grewal will be appointed to the Keyes Municipal Advisory Council since he was the lone candidate. Another seat was open but produced no interest. The Keyes MAC meets to discuss matters facing the unincorporated town and makes recommends to the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors on matters affecting Keyes.

Ceres Fire Protection District, which contracts with city fire services to fight fires in the rural belt around Ceres, has an open seat with the expiration of Robert Renstad's term. Renstad was the only candidate and will be appointed in lieu of an election.

Two open seats on the Hughson Fire Protection District attracted two candidates in Raymond Camagna and Gus Villarreal. Since there are no challengers and thus no need for an election, an appointment will be made by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors.

In the Westport Fire Protection District, incumbent board members Martin Avila and Edward Amador Jr. are unopposed and will be reappointed to avoid unnecessary election costs.

One director position on the Turlock Irrigation District will not be on the ballot since there were no challengers. Division 2 covers Ceres and incumbent Charlie Fernandes has filed without opposition. There are races in Division 5, which has incumbent Ron Macedo pitted against Darrell Monroe. Joe Alamo and Daniel Agundez are in a fight for TID Division 3.

A total of three seats were open on the Monterey Park Tract Community Services District board but attracted only two candidates in Grady L. Jordan Sr., and Bettie Yelder.