Granlund And Mann Pull Out Of Race To Replace Emmerson In 23rd Senate District

(January 20)  The field of candidates vying to succeed former 23rd District State Senator Bill Emmerson, who resigned his position in the state legislature on December 1, thinned out in the last fortnight, with Yucaipa Valley Water District Board Member Lonni Granlund and Menifee Mayor Scott Mann pulling the plugs on their candidacies.
Campaign funding, or the lack thereof, appeared to have been a major factor in both Granlund’s and Mann’s decisions.
A suppressed note of bitterness crept into Granlund’s announcement of her withdrawal, which appeared to be vectored at state Republican Party members who initially promised or at least indicated a fair amount of campaign cash would be provided to make her candidacy viable. So far, the race has been seen as falling to Assemblyman Mike Morrell, who has used his incumbency and access to the GOP establishment to distinguish himself as the best-funded and most viable of the candidates in the race. The 23rd Senatorial District has voter registration levels highly favorable to Republicans.
“After giving careful consideration about continuing my campaign for the 23rd State Senate District to replace Sen. Bill Emmerson, I have made the decision to terminate my campaign effective immediately,” Granlund said. “When I was asked to run for the State Senate I was led to believe that substantial resources would be committed from Sacramento for my campaign. The prevailing sentiment was that the field of candidates was unimpressive and unable to tackle the state’s anti-business philosophy. As a businesswoman I was viewed as someone with the skills to make a difference, but that’s not enough in Sacramento. My friends, family and supporters generously stepped up to help reach the goals set for a viable campaign. Unfortunately the funding from Sacramento simply did not materialize.”
She continued, “As a long-time member of the community, I faced the challenge of running a severely under-funded campaign, which would ultimately waste my supports (sic) hard earned money. I value my friendships and integrity too much to waste the hard earned money of my friends and family. I have seen candidates in the past continue to take their friends and supporters (sic) money knowing full well that their success was unlikely. That’s not something I am willing to do. As much as I would love to serve the people of the 23rd State Senate District, I cannot in good conscious (sic) continue in an underfunded campaign that has little or no possibility of success. At the very least I owe it to my supporters to have the integrity to admit the facts and return their generous contributions, and I will.”
Despite her withdrawal, Granlund was in no mood to endorse Morrell or any of the other currently declared candidates and she suggested that others should take up the burden of keeping Morrell from advancing to the legislature’s upper chamber. “Hopefully this announcement will be timely enough that other candidates might have the opportunity to file for the seat,” she said.
Menifee Mayor Scott Mann’s exodus from the campaign came hot on the heels of the California Fair Political Practices Commission’s leveling of a fine/administrative penalty of $1,500 against him for his  failure to disclose non-monetary contributions during his 2012 campaign for office. According to the FPPC, Mann and the Scott Mann for Mayor campaign received non-monetary contributions totaling $982.25 on or about June 14-30, 2012, from the Menifee Taxpayers Association.
Mann acknowledged  that his mayoral campaign committee was cited for not disclosing receipt of non-monetary Menifee Taxpayers Association  expenditures totaling $982.25 for advertising materials, but he said the FPPC had failed to substantiate any of the original allegations made against him, including reports relating to the use of surplus funds from his original council campaign to run for school board; failure to itemize expenditures by his school board committee; and that the Menifee Taxpayers Association  was controlling the Scott Mann for Menifee Mayor 2012 committee.  He then withdrew from the race, leaving Morell, Calimesa Councilman Chris Hewitt and San Jacinto Council Member Crystal Ruiz as the only remaining announced candidates in the Republican-leaning district, which spans portions of San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

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