Follow the money

Here’s who’s backing Chico’s City Council candidates

Donations revealed:
For a full list of campaign donations, visit

Chico City Council candidate Bob Evans may be a political neophyte, but he’s raised money like a seasoned veteran.

Campaign disclosure reports for Oct. 1-16 alone show Evans raking in nearly $8,000, bringing his year-to-date election bankroll to a whopping $39,022. Evans, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who has called Chico home for two decades, has received support from a cross-section of the business community, including several prominent developers and large-scale farmers, some from outside the city.

Evans’ support comes largely from the same developer circles as that going to his fellow conservatives, Bob Kromer and Mark Sorensen.

Evans’ biggest contributions during this latest round of statements included $500 donations each from Guy Rents Inc.; local restaurateur Kevin Riley (part-owner of Riley’s Bar and Grill, among other local eateries); farmer Dan Paiva, the plant manager of Glenn County-based RiverWest Processing; as well as Durham-based R. Gorrill Ranch Enterprises.

Other $500 donors over the course of the year include developers Guillon Industrial Properties, Wayne Cook, Epick Inc., Bill Webb and Far Western Land & Investment Co.; Hanover Environmental Services Inc.; Thomas Smith & Co. (accountants); retired City Manager Fred Davis; investment adviser William Rich; City Councilman Larry Wahl; and retirees Michael Prime and Kathleen Nettleton. Carolyn Dauterman and Thomas Dauterman, owners of Thomas Welding and Machine, together gave $1,000.

Evans is the retired former manager of the Chico branch of Lifetouch, a national company that specializes in student portrait photography. The company contributed $500 to his campaign, as did current manager David Koentopf Jr.

Evans is followed in the fundraising scramble by Kromer and Sorensen. However, Evans has raised nearly double the amount raised by Kromer, who logs in with a total of $20,203. The three men, who have run on similar pro-business platforms, have several overlapping donors.

Kromer, a Bay Area transplant who moved to Chico in 2008, took in $500 donations this disclosure period from Kevin Riley and developer Guillon Business Park Ventures. Previous large contributors include Fred Davis, developers Stan Webb of Webb Homes, Bill Webb, Wayne Cook, Doug Guillon and Chris Giampaoli of Epick Inc.; and retiree Carol Cook. Like Evans, Kromer took in $1,000 from the Dautermans.

Local businessman and Chico native Mark Sorensen comes in third with a year-to-date total of $18,745. His biggest donors over the most recent filing cycle, with $500 contributions, are developers Jeff and Shirley Farrar, Advanced Communications, Kevin Riley, Herried Music and developer Guillon Brouhard General Partnership.

Earlier in the campaign cycle, he took in $500 contributions from Bill Webb, Pete Giampaoli of Epick Inc., landlord Lewis Everitt, Wahl and Fred Davis. Sue and Thomas Dauterman; and Wayne and Carol Cook, owners of the Hotel Diamond, each donated $500.

Coming in a close fourth, incumbent Scott Gruendl has pulled in just under $18,000. A former Chico mayor and two-term councilman, Gruendl received a single $500 donation during the recent disclosure period, from Kevin Riley. Other notable donations in the first weeks of October include $250 from The Volo Group Inc.; $175 from RayRay Gallery; as well as from six Chico State employees in denominations of $100 or less.

During the earlier filing period, Gruendl, director of the Glenn County Health Services Agency, also raked in donations from a who’s who of progressive Chico: Planning Commissioner Susan Minasian ($200); City Councilmembers Jim Walker ($100), Mary Flynn ($100), Tom Nickell ($200) and Andy Holcombe ($320); and Mayor Ann Schwab ($75). Butte County Supervisors Maureen Kirk and Jane Dolan contributed $75 and $250, respectively.

Chico ex-pat and former Councilman Dan Nguyen-Tan contributed $50. Other notable donors include professor Mark Stemen ($100), resident Emily Alma ($77), Chico Conservation Voters ($50), lobbyist Max Del Real ($250), and Jon and Tanha Luvaas ($450).

Incumbent Mary Flynn, who is vying for her second term on the panel, has raised $13,616 (excluding a $4,500 loan to herself). She’s received support from colleagues Gruendl, Holcombe, Walker and Schwab, who have donated $100, $320, $400 and $50, respectively. Additional donations of note include $250 from the Volo Group Inc., $250 from physician James Boice, $500 from retiree Michael Goloff, $100 from Supervisor Kirk, $250 from the Democratic Action Team of Chico, and $101 from developer Bill Brouhard.

The campaign reports for Mark Herrera, the youngest candidate in the field, show the most diverse group of supporters, from a single dollar donation from a local writer to a $400 donation from a local herbalist. The political newbie took in the largest number of small contributions. He’s found supporters in current Councilmembers Holcombe ($305), Nickell ($240), Walker ($100) and Flynn ($5). His campaign is further buoyed by Planning Commissioner Jon Luvaas ($450), Chico Conservation Voters ($99), and the Democratic Action Team of Chico ($250).

Quentin Colgan, who has prided himself on being beholden to nobody, has raised $715.

Brahama D. Sharma did not report any campaign contributions.