After 7/1 came and passed, you knew this would happen. The little-known candidates with big dreams would attempt to introduce themselves to the political world. It makes sense, if you have no name ID, you need to attempt to establish legitimacy.
Bill Halldin entered the race and forced the hands of the others. They had to act.
The third such candidate is the team Gaines seat control candidate. Ostensibly, he is a client of Mr. Gilliard – meaning they will likely get the endorsements of the Gun Owners of CA and Jarvis regardless of merit (as has been the pattern in past campaigns). The entry of the seat control candidate this early was deliberate and a sign that team Gaines fears Bill Halldin, not Kevin Kiley or Cristi Nelson. The seat control candidate did not make much noise publicly until Halldin declared – follow the pattern.
Team Gaines is tipping their limited hand and is attempting to muddle Mr. Halldin’s third house fundraising. Beth Gaines is a lame duck and Ted Gaines may as well be – it remains to be seen if Ted Gaines can threaten donors the same way he did in 2011 when Beth rode in to the assembly on name ID without any qualifications.
The second candidate – Kevin Kiley is a fine-looking young man. By all accounts, he appears to be intelligent and articulate. He is a lawyer, he’d better be or else he’d not be a very good lawyer. Mr. Kiley appears to have raised some $50k on his own, not bad. Now, where does the next $200k come from? His first campaign email was pretty much boiler-plate GOP stuff, it remains to be seen what the 30-year-old is able to do in the long haul of the AD06 campaign.
The first candidate – Cristi Nelson – attempted to bluff people out of contending with her $100k check to herself. She also bought the annoying junk mail cards early. In six months, she has managed just five name endorsements and Kevin Kiley appears to have out-raised her. Secondly, I have received several unsolicited stories about her behavior on the campaign trail that suggest that she needs serious refinement as a candidate and may well lack the temperment to relate to anyone in lower socio-economic classes than she is in. She is also a social liberal in AD06 which is 62% pro-life and voted 2-1 for Prop 8.
Nelson sent an email attempting to impress people with her $140k cash on hand. She needs to publicly commit that she is going to spend the $100k of her own that she put in, then it will count. Otherwise, she has $40k in the bank and every astute observer knows that.
There is also the ever-present rumor of Placer COE member Suzanne Jones running for Assembly. This could suggest why she threw her hat in the ring for the recent vacancy on the Placer GOP Cent Com. Jones should have realized that by doing so (and then getting elected to that seat) that she would be in essence taking a side and for the first time would be creating political enemies.
There had been rumors of Big Daddy Jack Duran running for Assembly – I think they are absurd. Big Daddy knows better than to out himself as a democrat in his +15 Republican Supervisor District. Maybe Aggie-Lair-Uh is considering putting his name on the ballot? Maybe Reggie Bronner again? (he just got slaughtered by Robert Weygant for Sup D2 in 2014)
The bottom line is that you have the following dynamic:
Bill Halldin – the only current officeholder. He will have almost unanimous support amongst Placer electeds / business community. Can he expand to the other parts of the district?
Team Gaines Seat Control Candidate – will they be able to freeze enough money away from the other candidates while at the same time convincing them that their candidate is the answer?
Cristi Neslon – she will have to self-fund. In six months, raising $40k and only bagging 5 endorsements means that she will have to make herself viable on her own
Kevin Kiley – will his youth be his downfall? Where does the rest of his money come from? Is there room for him, with older, better-known candidates getting the endorsements and cash?
Suzanne Jones – a second female in the race decimates the only other advantage Nelson may have had. Will Jones have any money to spend?
Democrat? Will the dems stay home and let this go R vs R in order to aid the chances of a liberal republican (like Cristi Nelson) being elected to the seat? However, as we have seen in past races, the dems have the same party discipline problems that the Reps do. At the same time – the top two has actually aided Conservatives in the runoffs with the recent example of Steve Knight in CA25 and Jeff Stone in SD29 trouncing well-financed mod GOP opponents. My money is on the fact that a dem will file. This will shorten this race to June – the dem will finish first due to the number of Republican customers leaving the second place finisher as the shoo-in candidate in the fall.