More donations pour in for Chino Valley Unified school board’s big money race – San Bernardino Sun

This year’s Chino Valley Unified school board race raised eyebrows with big money contributions to two of the candidates. Since then, campaign finances have leveled quite a bit.

Four candidates are running for two open seats on the five-member school board. Christina Gagnier and Sonja Shaw are competing for the Area 3 seat and Lisa Greathouse and Jon Monroe seek the Area 4 seat.

Shaw and Monroe received early donations of $50,000 each, thanks to a loophole in the 2019 state law that limits contributions to political races in California.

In recent weeks, Gagnier has more than caught up to Shaw in a race that could decide whether the district rides a wave of conservative anger and swings the school board back to its former activist, religious ways.

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As of Oct. 27, Christina Gagnier for School Board 2022 has raised $97,841, including $23,427 since Sept. 25, according to campaign finance documents published on the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters website. The biggest donation since Sept. 25 is $4,900 from NYU School of Law professor Robert Bauer.

Gagnier’s campaign committee has spent $71,142 since the beginning of the year, and had $26,805 on hand as of Oct. 27 and $4,900 in outstanding debt.

Meanwhile, as of Oct. 27, Shaw’s campaign has raised $66,289, which includes $50,000 from Upland residents Carlos “Charlie” and Sherry Reynoso, the owners of Ontario-based Star Hardware and a contractor with the school district.

Shaw’s campaign committee has spent $23,886 since the beginning of the year and, as of Oct. 27, had $42,402 on hand.

Greathouse’s campaign committee, Lisa Greathouse for CVUSD Board 2022, had raised $32,355 as of Oct. 26, including $13,584 since Sept. 24. (Her Oct. 26 campaign statement covers the period from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22.) The largest donation is $4,900 from the Connie Leyva for Supervisor 2022 campaign fund.

Greathouse’s campaign committee has spent $21,937 and had $12,530 on hand, as of Oct. 26.

Monroe’s committee, Jon Monroe For School Board 2022, has raised $53,275 this year, according to documents filed Oct. 27, with only $200 of that coming since Sept. 25. As with Shaw, $50,000 of his campaign funds came from the Reynosos.

As of Oct. 27, his campaign has spent $36,957 and still had $16,533 on hand.

In addition to the candidates’ committees, there’s also an independent committee, Safe Schools Coalition to Oppose Gagnier and Greenhouse for School Board 2022. (Yes, the committee’s name includes “Greenhouse,” not “Greathouse.”)

According to documents filed Oct. 24, since July 1, the committee has raised $50, but spent $7,000 on a campaign mailer opposing Gagnier, leaving the committee with $50 cash on hand and $7,000 in outstanding debt.

Donations of more than $1,000 made after Oct. 22 must be declared within 24 hours of receiving the donation, and the declarations are posted online by the county Registrar of Voters. The posted forms can be found online at, under “Elected Officials, Candidates & Campaigns” and then “Search for Local Campaign Finance Reports.”

One such donation was reported on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The Safe Schools Coalition to Oppose Gagnier and Greenhouse for School Board 2022 committee received an additional $10,000 donation from Jon Harmon, the administrator for Ontario’s Star Hardware, the same company owned by the Reynosos.

There’s still time for last-minute spending to make a difference: As of Nov. 2, a total of 136,603 ballots have filed, according to the county Registrar of Voters, with more than 1 million ballots still to be cast. In 2018, the last midterm election, a total of 546,041 people voted in San Bernardino County.

Staff writer David Allen contributed to this story.

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