The recession hasn't only impacted the housing and job market in the Victor Valley: It's also meant for a downsized city council campaign in Hesperia this year.


In a race where most candidates were unable to come up with the approximately $1,500 to put a candidate statement on the ballot, it's no surprise that most candidates have both raised and spent very little money this campaign season.


Campaign financial disclosure documents released last week by the Hesperia City Clerk's office, covering the period between July 1 and September 30, show one of the most inexpensive political campaigns in recent memory.


So far, only two of the eight candidates have raised more than $10,000 this season: one-sixteenth what was raised by one of the candidates in the 2008 race.


Russ Blewett


In 2008, Russ Blewett spent a total of $65,315 in his failed bid to win one of the two seats then up for grabs -- and he wasn't even the biggest spender in the race. Mark Kirk, who also failed to win a seat, spent $167,048, the most ever spent in a Hesperia city council election.


Blewett doesn't appear to be in any danger of breaking that record this year: As of Sept. 30, had raised $10,500 ($8,000 of it a loan from himself to his political committee), and spent $7,706 of it. Montclair dentist Ronald Cunning was Blewett's sole contributor, writing the candidate a $2,500 check.


Bill Holland


Candidate Bill Holland has raised $3,148 so far this year, all from High Desert businessmen and residents -- none of whom gave more than $500. Holland has spent $3,056 so far this campaign season.


Dave Holman


Political veteran Dave Holman is making his first run for office in Hesperia this year -- he previously served in two different offices in Apple Valley -- and had raised $1,999 by Sept. 30, including a $1,500 loan from Hesperia resident Alma Lujan. He's already spent most of it -- $1,982 -- leaving him with less than $20 in his war chest.


Don Parkman


Businessman Don Parkman has raised $3,500 so far this campaign season -- he wrote his committee a check for all of it -- and has spent $2,850 of it.


Thurston "Smitty" Smith


The only incumbent in the city council race, Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith has the largest war chest of any of the candidates.


Smith has received $20,468 in contributions, including $4,000 from Desert Valley Medical Group and $1,000 from San Bernardino County Fire Fighters Local #935. He also received a donation of a putting green from Hunny Do Artificial Grass, valued at $3,100, which Smith is raffling off as a fund-raiser.


Hesperia Free Press


Al Vogler, the husband of Councilwoman Rita Vogler, has formed a new Hesperia Free Press political action committee this year, with the longest name of anyone filing financial documents with the city clerk's office this fall: The Hesperia Free Press Committee to Oppose Thurston Smith, Russell Blewett and David Holman, Hesperia City Council, and Oppose Hardy Black and Chris Lindsay, Hesperia Unified School District, 2010.


Vogler's committee raised $5,800 (a loan from himself to his political committee) between July 1 and Sept. 30 and spent $4,121 of it.


Everyone else


Candidates James Blocker, Dennis De Hay and Sean Wright filed out campaign disclosure forms indicating they anticipate raising and spending less than $1,000 on their campaigns this year.


The next set of campaign disclosure forms is due Oct. 21.


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.