In race for O.C. Board of Supervisors, Foley’s fundraising far surpasses GOP challengers

Candidates for an open 2nd District seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors
Candidates for an open 2nd District seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, from left, are Kevin Muldoon, Janet Rappaport, John Moorlach, Katrina Foley and Michael Vo.
(Collage by Sara Cardine)

In the race for a seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, which will conclude in a District 2 special election Tuesday, campaign disclosure documents show Democratic candidate Katrina Foley’s fundraising efforts have far outpaced her Republican counterparts.

As of the most recent filing period, which reflected campaign contributions through Feb. 20, the Costa Mesa mayor had raised $597,405.

For the record:

2:15 PM, Mar. 06, 2021Campaign contribution totals for three of the candidates were incorrectly reported in an earlier version of this story and have been updated.

The next biggest fundraiser was former state Sen. John Moorlach, who had secured $319,212 in contributions, followed by Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Muldoon, who, as of the end of the filing period, had raised $289,161 in a campaign he began in 2019.

Fountain Valley Mayor Michael Vo trailed slightly, amassing $216,841 in contributions, which included two loans totaling $150,800, while Corona del Mar international tax attorney Janet Rappaport, who filed papers to run on Jan. 25, had raised $24,496 as of Feb. 20.

While war chests do not guarantee victory, contributions do provide an overview of candidates’ backers and hint at the values, priorities and preferences they exhibit on the campaign trail.

Foley’s filings show the mayor received $500 from former Costa Mesa City Councilman John Stephens, now a city planning commissioner. Orange County District 4 Supervisor Doug Chaffee donated $1,000 to Foley’s campaign, as did former U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda.

Her contributors include the United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 324 PAC, which both gave $2,100. Yet, inconsistencies exist.

Foley accepted $2,100 from the Orange County League of Conservation Voters, a Huntington Beach advocacy group that supports the campaigns of environmentally friendly political candidates.

But records also show she received two donations totaling $2,100 from Laura Reichelt, president of the Wood Oil Co. of America, a fuel supplier for major oil companies Arco, Exxon, Mobil and Shell.

As a special election nears, five contenders are attempting to distinguish their candidacies and convince voters they have what it takes to lead the county through and beyond the pandemic.

Moorlach, an accountant who served as Orange County treasurer, accepted contributions from finance professionals and real estate companies, but his filings include some political colleagues as well.

Former Costa Mesa Councilman Jim Righeimer donated $2,100 to Moorlach’s campaign, as did Righeimer’s wife, Lene, while Costa Mesa conservative former Councilman Steve Mensinger gave $500.

Several PACs contributed to the former senator, including the California Real Estate PAC, the New Majority PAC, Orange County Auto Assn. PAC, the Assn. of Builders and Contractors PAC, the Apartment Assn. of Orange County PAC and the Building Owners and Managers Assn. PAC, which each gave $2,100.

Moorlach also accepted $2,100 from the conservative Lincoln Club of Orange County and a $250 contribution from Orange County Board of Education President Ken L. Williams.

Muldoon, vice president of business development for a Newport Beach tech startup, has received contributions from companies and individuals in the aviation industry, including $2,100 from CEC Aviation Consultant’s William Borgsmiller as well as personal $2,100 donations from Borgsmiller and Mary Borgsmiller.

Two more $2,100 donations came in from executives at ACI Jet, a fixed-base operator fueling and maintaining aircraft at John Wayne Airport.

Palmer Luckey — the founder of virtual reality firm Oculus, who now runs the Irvine-based defense company Anduril and hosted then-President Donald Trump in his Newport Beach residence in October — has also supported Muldoon’s bid for supervisor.

Luckey donated $2,100, while Muldoon has also collected $2,100 from retiree Donald Luckey and homemaker Nicole Luckey, documents show.

Several people from Santa Ana waste collection company Ware Disposal have donated to Muldoon’s campaign. Vice President Ben Ware gave $2,100, while administrator Cristy Ware donated $2,100. General Manager Jay Ware contributed $2,100, as did Judith Ware, president of Ware affiliate Madison Materials.

Orange County will have to find space to build thousands of new homes after a regional board approved long-debated housing goals for Southern California at a meeting on Thursday.

Vo’s campaign fundraising efforts focus on business owners across sectors, including many Asian American businesses. The Fountain Valley mayor received $2,100 from Westminster’s Lanvy Pharmacy and accepted another $2,100 from Fountain Valley restaurant Au Lac Plant Based Cuisine.

Vo also received $500 from Alan Beaudette, chief investment officer for Long Beach-based United Pacific, which operates gas stations and convenience stores, and accepted $2,100 from Famvans, Inc., a Fountain Valley commercial van and truck company.

Another $2,100 came into the Vo campaign via David Duong, president and chief executive of San Jose company Cal Waste Solutions, while Fountain Valley Contractor Cal Group Construction & Design gave $1,000.

Rappaport, who did not solicit large donations from special-interest groups, collected $2,100 from James Rappaport, a physician with the Sierra Regional Spine Institute in Reno, Nev., and Valerie Bird, a physician with the University of New Mexico.

Other donors to Rappaport’s campaign include attorneys Mike Kavoukjian and John Manly, who each gave $2,100, and attorney Scott Hansen, who donated $1,000.

Whether or not fundraising will translate to an Election Day win remains to be seen. Contributions collected after Feb. 20 must be reported by the close of the next reporting period on March 24.

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.