District Attorney to the County of Ventura

The Context

The District Attorney is a vital position in the county; there are a host of things that residents need their advocacy on (even something as minor as an issue with a landlord or tenant).

It should be noted that Erik Nasarenko is the incumbent; however, his position was made initially by appointment. This is to say that he was not previously elected to the position of DA (though originally sat on the Ventura City Council in an elected capacity).

While a non-partisan seat, Erik Nasarenko is openly a Democrat. His only challenger is John Barrick, who is not as openly identified as a Republican, or any other political party; however, by the donations to his campaign, and from him to other campaigns, my bets are that he is a hard right Republican in politically philosophical nature.

With that being said, Nasarenko has a bizarre mix of bipartisan and special interest support. In 2020, I ran for city council against a hard right Republican, and many of his campaign donors, especially developers and property investors, donated large sums to both my former opponent’s campaign, as well as Nasarenko’s.

Spending Breakdown

Nasarenko’s 2022 Spending:

$77K

Barrick’s 2022 Spending:

$27K

Nasarenko’s Notable Donations

While not an exhaustive list, what piqued my interest were the number of organizations and individuals that maxed out their contributions. This is to say that they donated the maximum amount of $750 per donation; in some cases spouses would each give $750. While this list does not represent all maximum donations, a fair number of them were.

  • The Greek at the Harbor (the restaurant)
  • Laborers Internation Union of North America AFL-CIO (LIUNA)
  • Michelle Ryan – the Harbor Master Supervisor of the Oxnard Harbor
  • IBEW PAC Educational fund
  • The CFO of Ventura Orthopedics
  • Democratic Club of Conejo Valley
  • Mooprark Democratic Club
  • George Erb (owner of George Erb Physical Therapy and Fitness Center)
  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters
  • Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 484
  • Fellow candidates and elected officials: Susan Santangelo, Claudia Bill-de la Peña, Bev Dransfeldt
  • Limon for Senate 2024
  • Eloise Reyes for Assembly 2022
  • United Democrats for Progress of Ventura County
  • Central Coast ADU
  • Central Coast Engineering
  • Barton and Heidi Stern of the Ventura Investment Company (owners of a fair amount of VC property)
  • Al Lowe Construction
  • The Hartley Company LLC (a cattle company in Tennessee…)

Barrick’s Notable Donations

Most noticeable about Barrick’s donations are the number of peace officer organizations (cops), and individuals that are just everyday people (teachers, writers, etc). When creating Barrick’s list, I did notice that both Nasarenko and Barrick have a number of supporters at California Lutheran University. While I do consider Barrick to be more to the far right politically based upon the bulk of his donations, I did see a number of prominent local Democrats that had donated to his campaign. And, of note: three restaurants that made local news in 2020 for violating COVID public health protocols donated to his campaign as well.

  • Simi Valley Police Officers Association
  • Ventura County Police Officers Association
  • Oxnard Peace Officers Association
  • Peace Officers Research Association of California
  • Ventura County Professional Peace Officers Associations
  • California State Law Enforcement Association
  • California Real Estate PAC
  • Conejo Valley CARES
  • Mrs. Olsen’s Coffee Hut
  • Cronies Sports Grill – Agoura AND Simi Valley
  • Ed Abele – candidate for supervisor (though he listed himself as “retired” on both entries)
  • Vanguard Acquisitions Groups (a retail property investment and acquisitions group in Delaware…)