Local Elections : Detailed Breakdown of Funds : Developers Give Eckert Dollar Edge in 5th District

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Times Staff Writer

Developers, construction company executives and others who depend on growth to make a living have contributed almost 35% of the money collected by seven candidates for San Diego County supervisor in the 5th District, according to a detailed study of the contributions.

Businessmen and retirees gave the next highest amounts--about 28% between them--and the rest of the contributions were scattered among attorneys, bankers and stock brokers, housewives, farmers and doctors, the study by The Times showed.

Campaign contribution disclosure reports filed during the last year also show that the two best-funded challengers to incumbent Supervisor Paul Eckert have both collected more money from outside San Diego County than from any single community or city within the county.


In all, more than $278,000 was collected by the seven candidates through May 17. About half that amount came from within the 5th District, which sprawls from Encinitas to Orange County on the coast and inland to Borrego Springs and the Imperial County line.

Eckert, seeking his third term on the board, has raised more money than his six challengers combined, with just under $140,000 collected and about $13,000 still in the bank. Eckert raised $11,650 in the most recent reporting period, less than two of his opponents, but the incumbent had already raised most of the money he budgeted for the race before several of his rivals even declared their candidacies. The most recent reporting period covered March 18 though May 17.

Eckert’s closest pursuer is Escondido attorney Clyde Romney, who received just under $27,000 in the latest period, for a total of $64,734. Romney has $20,250 to spend in the final week before the primary election on Tuesday.

Carlsbad City Councilman Richard Chick has collected just over $50,000, with $17,350 of it coming in the most recent period, and he has $7,085 in the bank. Oceanside Councilman John MacDonald has raised about $18,500 and lent his effort $2,000, but he has only $1,375 on hand. Vista Mayor Mike Flick has raised $5,025 and has $435 in the bank.

The two other candidates in the all-Republican field, Escondido auto parts dealer Edmund Fitzgerald and La Costa detective Richard Repasky, have spent less than $500 on their campaigns and therefore need not file expenditure reports with the county. The others are required to report all contributions of $100 or more and to list the contributor and his or her occupation, employer and address.

From these reports it is clear that, just as growth and its effects on North County have been the major issues of the campaign, so do people who stand to gain from increased growth in the county’s fastest-developing region dominate the lists of contributors.


Eckert and Chick--the campaign’s two most vigorous defenders of the rights of property owners--have collected the most money from developers, civil engineers, contractors, architects, land planners and others involved in the development business. Both candidates also received more money from real estate agents and brokers than did the other candidates.

Together, people in these occupations and their spouses accounted for about 59% of the money contributed to Chick, a real estate agent who has been a Carlsbad councilman since 1982. The same occupations accounted for about 40% of Eckert’s contributions.

Romney, the former chief aide to Rep. Ron Packard (R-Oceanside), and MacDonald, former president of MiraCosta Community College, collected much less of their money from development interests and instead relied heavily on retirees and businessmen.

Romney, despite being endorsed with Eckert by the Building Industry Assn., collected just 9.3% of his money from development and real estate interests, while MacDonald brought in about 13% of his contributions from these occupations. Romney got about 17% of his money from retired people, a greater share than any other candidate, and these donors ran the gamut from mobile home dwellers on fixed incomes to retired executives living in some of North County’s most exclusive communities. Romney collected 12% of his contributions from business people and 9.5% from attorneys. MacDonald collected 20% each from retirees and business people.

The candidates’ disclosures also showed that money from outside San Diego County, while far from dominating the campaign, might play an important role. Overall, 14.3% of the $278,338 collected came from other counties and states.

By far the most dependent on outside money is Chick, who raised almost one-third (31%) of his money from outside San Diego County. Chick got 20% from his hometown of Carlsbad and 18% from San Diego, including La Jolla. About half of Chick’s out-of-town money came from development and real estate interests in Los Angeles and Orange counties, many of whom do business in Carlsbad.


Romney raised about 14% of his contributions from other counties, much of it from friends in Pasadena, where he grew up; in Utah, where he went to college, and in the Washington, D.C., area, where Romney lived from 1983 through 1985 while he worked as Packard’s top assistant.

Romney’s reports also show that he has been able to raid some of Eckert’s longtime strongholds, raising significant amounts in Rancho Santa Fe and the rural areas north of Escondido. Romney collected 20 contributions totaling $2,760 from the small community of Pauma Valley, where voters have given Eckert majorities of close to 80% in his two previous runs for office.

Eckert’s contributions came from areas throughout the county, with the heaviest concentrations in San Diego (18.4%) and Rancho Santa Fe (13.4%). Only 10.7% of Eckert’s contributions came from outside San Diego County.

MacDonald collected almost half his money (46%) from his hometown of Oceanside. He got 20% from Carlsbad. He listed only one contribution of $250 from outside the county.


This chart shows who has contributed to the three best-financed candidates in the 5th Supervisorial District. Of the other candidates, John MacDonald has raised $18,492 and Mike Flick has collected $5,025. Edmund Fitzgerald and Richard Repasky have not accepted contributions for their campaigns.

Paul Eckert

Total Contributions: $139,943

Category Contribution Developers-Land use $45,386 Business 25,953 Retirees 16,673 Real estate agents 11,239 Attorneys 9,133 Finance 8,749 Agriculture 8,120 Housewives 5,543 Medical/Health 3,295 Miscellaneous 5,852


Clyde Romney

Total Contributions: $64,734

Category Contribution Retirees $10,910 Business 7,792 Attorneys 6,123 Finance 4,780 Developers/Land-Use 4,324 Medical/Health 2,750 Housewives 2,000 Real estate agents 1,675 Agriculture 1,298 Miscellaneous 23,082

Richard Chick

Total Contributions: $50,144

Category Contribution Developers/Land-use $26,133 Business 7,037 Real estate agents 3,496 Attorneys 3,075 Finance 2,790 Housewives 1,640 Retirees 1,545 Medical/Health 270 Agriculture 250 Miscellaneous 3,908

Total Contributions--All Candidates: $278,338

Developers/Land-Use $79,993 Business 46,582 Retired 32,828 Attorneys 18,831 Finance 17,168 Real estate agents 16,660 Housewives 11,183 Agriculture 10,318 Medical/Health 7,215 Miscellaneous 37,560

Breaking Down the Categories Developers-Land use includes developers, contractors, construction companies, civil engineers and surveyors, architects, and building material suppliers.

Finance includes bankers, stock brokers, investors, and insurance agents or brokers.

Housewives includes only those whose occupation is listed as “housewife” or “homemaker” and whose husbands did not also contribute to the campaign. Housewives whose husbands contributed are counted in the same category as their spouses.

Miscellaneous includes contributions under $100 not itemized on campaign contribution reports.


Source: County Registrar of Voters


Community Contribution San Diego $25,779 Rancho Santa Fe 18,785 Outside County 14,919 East County 14,730 Fallbrook 8,970 San Dieguito 8,257 Escondido 8,155 Escondido 8,155 Vista 7,675 La Jolla 7,265 Rural North County 5,999 Del Mar 4,175 Oceanside 3,611 Solana Beach 3,260 Carlsbad 2,760 San Marcos 2,505 South Bay 1,800

Clyde Romney

Community Contribution Outside County $9,000 Rancho Santa Fe 7,875 Escondido 6,130 Rural North County 4,145 San Diego 3,771 East County 2,000 Del Mar 1,800 Solana Beach 1,750 Fallbrook 1,670 San Marcos 1,509 San Dieguito 1,450 Oceanside 1,250 La Jolla 848 Vista 690 Carlsbad 600 South Bay 100

Richard Chick

Community Contribution Outside County $15,557 Carlsbad 10,141 San Diego 6,264 La Jolla 2,815 East County 2,070 Rancho Santa Fe 1,800 Del Mar 1,390 Solana Beach 1,335 Escondido 1,275 Vista 1,118 San Dieguito 1,045 Oceanside 979 Rural North County 349 San Marcos 290 South Bay 270 Fallbrook 90

San Dieguito includes Encinitas, Cardiff, Leucadia, Olivenhain.

East County includes Borrego Springs, Campo, Dulzura, El Cajon, Julian, Lakeside, La Mesa, Santee.

Rural North County includes Bonsall, Pala, Pauma Valley, San Luis Rey, Valley Center.

South Bay includes Bonita, Chula Vista, National City, San Ysidro