Council incumbents have thousands left, campaign filing shows

Challenger has spent double their combined total
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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The final pre-election campaign statements in the race for two Auburn City Council seats reveals that incumbents Dr. Bill Kirby and Keith Nesbitt had thousands left to spend in the final two-plus weeks before the Nov. 6 election, while challenger Gary Moffat said most of his work is behind him. As of the Oct. 20 filing date, Moffat, who has raised more than Kirby and Nesbitt combined, had $625.52 left of his $17,299 in campaign contributions, while Kirby and Nesbitt had $4,114.88 and $3,105.99, respectively, in reserves. Kirby totaled $9,680 and Nesbitt $5,968.79 in contributions as of Oct. 20. “It’s over as far as I’m concerned in terms of spending money,” said Moffat, who spent $11,614.36 from Oct. 5 through Oct. 20 compared to expenses of $4,250.40 by Kirby and $82.23 by Nesbitt. “If you haven’t spent your money by now, it’s too late. Sixty percent of Auburn voters vote by mail, so their minds are made up now,” Moffat said. According to the Placer County Elections Office, about 25 percent of the 5,725 mail-in ballots issued to Auburn voters had been received and verified for processing as of Friday afternoon. Those issued vote-by-mail ballots make up 66 percent of the city’s total registered voters. Typically, 16 percent of mail-in votes are received within 72 hours of receiving the ballots, according to the elections office. Oct. 8 is the first day those ballots are issued. Nesbitt said some invoices for expenditures during the second reporting period arrived late, so his total costs were more around $500 for that time. As for what he plans to do with all that saved money? “Everyone will see soon enough,” he said. “Obviously, you want to save a little bit for the last push,” Nesbitt said. Nesbitt and Kirby both said their records on Council and support from established relationships in the community are going to play a big part in their hopes for re-election. Kirby downplayed how much of an effect running a big-money campaign will have in this community. “Bottom line is this is a small town. Spending more than five or six thousand dollars is idiotic,” said Kirby, who as of Oct. 20 has spent $6,093.56 compared to $15,958.48 by Moffat and $2,486.25 by Nesbitt. “I feel fine. I think we’ll do real well. I’ve been here a long time and I’ve got a lot of support, and that’s more important than spending money on it.” Moffat, owner of Carpe Vino in Old Town Auburn, said he had an uphill battle to work for recognition among voters who may already be familiar with Kirby and Nesbitt. “I don’t have the advantage of having been on the City Council for the last eight or four years, and I’ve had to contact voters directly,” he said. “I was fortunate to be able to raise the money to do that.” Nesbitt and Kirby received matching $1,000 donations from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee based in Los Angeles. They secured the contributions after all three candidates interviewed before a panel from the Placer County Association of REALTORS, they said. Moffat’s largest contributions since Oct. 5 came from three $500 donations: the Placer County Deputy Sheriff’s Association PAC, the Local Union 340 IBEW PAC and the Operating Engineers Local No. 3. The two PACs are based in Sacramento, while the other is in Alameda. Nesbitt and Kirby both received $100 donations from Tom and Peggy Dwelle. Tom Dwelle, general partner of Nella Oil Company, previously made a $1,000 donation to Moffat. Earle Eisley, owner of Eisley’s Nursery, contributed $500 to Kirby and $200 to Nesbitt. BY THE NUMBERS Here’s how the Auburn City Council candidates fundraising and spending breaks down as of Oct. 20. Total contributions received/expenditures made as of Oct. 20: Kirby: $9,680.00 ($2,000.00 in loans)/$6,093.56 Moffat: $17,299.00/$15,958.48 Nesbitt: $5,968.79 ($220.00 in loans)/$2,486.25 Contributions/expenditures from Oct. 5 through Oct. 20 Kirby: $5,922.00/$4,250.40 Moffat: $3,684.00/$11,614.36 Nesbitt: $2,099.00/$82.23 Cash balance as of Oct. 20 Kirby: $4,114.88 Moffat: $625.52 Nesbitt: $3,105.99 Jon Schultz can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews