Who Are Santa Barbara’s Biggest Presidential Campaign Donors?

Oracle Executive Jeff Henley Leads Both Packs with a $50,000 Contribution to Trump

Oracle executive Jeff Henley, far left, donated $50,000 to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. A UCSB alumnus, Henley made a massive $50 million gift to the university in 2012. Jeff and Judy Henley Hall is expected to open this fall. The campus’s sweeping front gate also bears his name. Henley is pictured here with his wife, Judy, and UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang and his wife, Dilling, in 2012. | Credit: MONIE PHOTOGRAPHY

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No single Santa Barbara resident has donated more to either presidential candidate’s campaign than Oracle Corporation executive Jeff Henley, who gave $50,000 to the Trump Victory political action committee (PAC) in March, federal contribution records show. Henley also gave $50,000 to the McCarthy Victory Fund PAC, which supports the reelection campaign of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; $50,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee; and $35,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The next biggest donations came from James and Beverly Zaleski, who together contributed $81,200 to Trump. James Zaleski is a retired engineer and electronics executive living in Montecito. Gerry Shepherd, owner of Shepherd Farm in the Santa Ynez Valley, also gave generously to Trump ($40,400), as did Cynthia Hughes, the wife of construction company owner Jim Hughes ($21,700); David Carpenter, president of the Montecito-based David and Leila Carpenter Foundation ($7,800); attorney Richard St. Clair ($5,600); the Unity Shoppe’s Barbara Tellefson ($4,250); retired General Motors executive Jim Westby and his wife Sharon ($3,500); and prominent UCSB physics professor John Martinis ($1,000), among others.


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Santa Barbara–based donations to Joe Biden’s election campaign have been much more modest, the records reveal. The largest contribution came from Santa Ynez residents Priscilla Higgins and her husband, Roger, who gave a combined $6,400. She’s a retired tech industry executive and philanthropist. Other Biden donors include Michael Pulitzer of the famed Pulitzer family ($5,600); Wayne Rosing, a computer scientist and the founder of Las Cumbres Observatory ($5,600); poet Dan Gerber ($4,000); NancyBell Coe, former president of the Music Academy of the West ($2,500); environmental activist Diane Meyer Simon ($2,500); retired prosecutor Ron Zonen ($2,000); Rev. Michael Corrigan of Trinity Episcopal Church ($1,250); and publisher and philanthropist Sara Miller-McCune ($1,000), among others.

Search individual contributions on the Federal Election Commission’s website here


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