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Holmes? election cash accumulation dwarfs Grigas District 3 campaign war chest

District 3 candidates head to final days of Board of Supervisors election with disparate amounts
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - In terms of funding, challenger Robert Grigas is in a David-and-Goliath battle with incumbent District 3 Placer County Supervisor Jim Holmes. A newcomer to election campaigning, Grigas is reporting fund-raising totals about a tenth of what Holmes ? a two-termer from North Auburn ? has raised. Even more telling, Grigas has raised less than 1 percent of the total of more than $320,000 that the last candidate to challenge Holmes raised eight years ago. In the 2004 election, Auburn?s Alice Dowdin lost the election and Holmes was returned without a challenger four years later. This time around, redistricting has left Holmes without one of his strongest voter bases in Auburn. It is now part of District 5 and Holmes said he?s spending more time in Rocklin, which District 3 has expanded farther into. ?I?m still going to every event I can ? more so in the Rocklin area,? Holmes said Tuesday. ?But I still haven?t forgotten about my friends in Loomis and Newcastle.? Grigas said he?s providing a clear choice to Holmes, something voters should be taking note of as they fill out their ballots. But that hasn?t translated into a flurry of donations. Grigas, a Newcastle resident, said he understands that during a downturn in the economy, donations are scant. ?Clearly we could always use more funds to get the word out,? Grigas said. ?There?s definitely a balance and I?ve figured out ways to reduce costs in a number of ways. That?s a normal part of business.? Grigas said his supporters believe in what his campaign stands for. ?I have strong supporters,? Grigas said. ?But a lot of people I do business with are financially in tough times. It?s perfectly normal. We?re getting small amounts and I understand it?s difficult because their businesses are struggling. I respect that and understand I?ve got to do things differently.? Holmes said his campaign has spent some funding to send a mailer to Rocklin voters. He has also placed ads in the Placer Herald and Loomis News. Volunteers have been walking precincts in Rocklin, as well as the Auburn areas he still represents, Holmes said. Holmes said he hasn?t turned down any donations because of any political differences. When first elected, Holmes was a registered Republican but he has since switched to no party listing. ?I think I?ve shown by being out and about through two terms that I make my own decisions and weigh issues,? Holmes said. ?People may not agree with all my positions but they know I?ve done my homework and I?ve based my decisions on fact finding.? Holmes said he?s comfortable with the amount of funds he has raised. ?I didn?t take this race for granted,? Holmes said. Grigas said that he?s running a grass-roots campaign that doesn?t depend on large donations. ?I know my opponent is after the big dollars,? Grigas said. ?That?s his gig. I respect the fact that for some people, it?s a difficult economy and folks are having a hard time.? Holmes in the money lead Placer County District 3 Board of Supervisors election funding totals for the March 17 to May 19 period: Robert Grigas Challenger Robert Grigas has declared contributions totaling $2,880 and expenditures of $2,202, leaving him with a balance of $877. He loaned his campaign $1,050. The only major campaign donation was from the certified management accounting firm Rose and Rose of Loomis, which gave $2,500. Jim Holmes The incumbent supervisor took in $26,648 in contributions and his campaign spent $13,646, leaving him with a balance of $18,832, leading into the final days of the June 5 election campaign. The five largest campaign contributions during mid-March to May 19 came from: - California Real Estate Political Action Committee of Los Angeles ($3,000) - Placer Vineyards Development Group of Roseville ($2,500) - Auburn Manor Holding Corp. of Rocklin ($2,000) - Laborers Local 185 PAC of Sacramento ($2,000) - Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce ($750). Source: Placer County elections division candidate filings