Analysis: Close Money Race in 4th AD, Saylor with Most on Hand

California State Capitol
Don Saylor has the most cash on hand
Don Saylor has the most cash on hand

If Davis Mayor Dan Wolk is the front runner in the race, it is not completely obvious from the 2015 contribution period for contributions ending on December 31, 2015, and reported on February 1, 2016. Clearly, Dan Wolk has the most breadth of endorsements from across the district, but, just as in 2014, that hasn’t necessarily translated into an overwhelming monetary advantage.

Dan Wolk, who ran and finished third in the 2014 primary, raised $105,524 in 2015. He spent about $33,645 to have an ending cash total of $77,241.

Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor raised $141,598 in 2015. He spent about $25,000 to have a total cash on hand of $117,328.

Winters Mayor Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, who was the last candidate into the race, has raised $74,347 and has $55,960 cash on hand. As noted, she was the last candidate into the race, and did not record her first donation until September 24, so all her contributions came in during a three-month period at the end of 2015.

Saylor’s total is also a bit misleading. While he reported over $140,000, and has the most cash on hand, roughly $48,000 of this came from his County Supervisor Committee and some of the contributions reported in the spreadsheet came from as far back as 2009.

Mr. Saylor has twice been unopposed for county supervisor, in 2010 and 2014. He has not run a contested election since 2008, when he finished first among six candidates for city council, and served two years as mayor pro tem and six months as mayor of Davis.

Taking that into account, Dan Wolk ended up the largest fundraiser for 2015 with $105,000, compared to just over $80,000 for Don Saylor and $75,000 for Cecilia Aguiar-Curry.

Still, it is not an overwhelming advantage by the Davis mayor, who raised his funds over the last five months of the year.

It was pointed out that the 2013 race got an earlier start with May and June announcements. However, even factoring in a later starting point, Dan Wolk is not in the position that Bill Dodd was in February 2014.

At that point in 2014, Bill Dodd had amassed a whopping $600,000 which dwarfed his two main Democratic opponents. Joe Krovoza raised a total of $218,000 at that point in 2014 and Dan Wolk had raised $122,000.

Dan Wolk has actually raised less money this time than last, even taking into account the later starting point – one of the big weaknesses of the Wolk Campaign in 2014 was that his large numbers of endorsements didn’t translate into a monetary advantage. Ultimately, he would finish third as he and Joe Krovoza split votes in Davis.

However, it is unclear that he has a sizable advantage over Don Saylor at this point – certainly not on the money front.

We are still four months from the election and a lot can change, but so far the trend from 2014 seems to be holding. The biggest advantage that Dan Wolk has over 2014 is that there is no Bill Dodd in the race.

To see individual donors, click here:

Dan Wolk Contributions

Cecilia Aguiar-Curry Contributions

Don Saylor Contributions

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Davis Progressive

    if i’m reading the tea leaves correctly – dan is trouble.  on the other hand, he is not facing someone of the caliber of bill dodd this time, but he’s himself not bill dodd either.  can cecilia or saylor succeed where krovoza failed last year and make headway outside of yolo.

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