Businessman helping Johnston, Fritchen campaigns
By Scott Smith
Record Staff Writer
October 17, 2012 12:00 AM
STOCKTON - Big money backing incumbent Mayor Ann Johnston and two council candidates has poured in from a wealthy businessman who lives in Nevada and made his fortune in the auto repossession industry.
Patrick K. Willis also bought Stockton's glitzy University Waterfront Plaza Hotel two years ago and turned around the once bankrupt business, giving him a personal interest in the city's vitality.
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He also supports incumbent Councilman Dale Fritchen and newcomer Randy Hatch in the Nov. 6 election, contributing a total of $67,500, which makes him the largest single contributor, according to the candidates' most recent campaign statements.
Willis contributed $37,500 to Johnston, giving her a campaign fund of $105,235, including $20,000 from Stockton developer Alex Spanos. Willis was not available for comment Tuesday.