Riley's Opponent Drops Out of Race

A last-minute decision by a challenger has left County Supervisor Thomas F. Riley with no opposition in his bid for a fifth term.

Peer Swan, an Irvine corporate executive who had filed election papers to run against Riley at the last minute Friday, said Monday that he had changed his mind over the weekend.

"I guess I just got caught up in the process," Swan said. "There was no late-night phone calls, no deals, just a lot of soul-searching. I didn't want to run for something I didn't have a sporting chance of winning. . . . I didn't want to drag my family and friends through that."

Swan, 45, said he had intended to run as a reform candidate focusing on the need to "depoliticize" the awarding of county contracts by giving more say to county administrators. He said he did not, however, want to run as a protest candidate with no serious chance of winning. Swan said he had no hope of competing with Riley in name recognition or campaign fund raising.

Riley, who raised $113,000 in campaign contributions last year, according to his latest financial disclosure statement, said he will probably use some of the money to send out information pamphlets to 5th District residents and contribute the remainder to charity.

Swan said he notified the registrar of voters on Monday of his intention to drop out of the race, but was informed that his name would remain on the ballot.

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