Stockton firm helps Jeff Denham pay recall debt

PAQ Inc. — the Stockton company operating Food 4 Less, Rancho San Miguel and other supermarkets throughout the Central Valley — is helping state Sen. Jeff Denham, R-Merced, retire almost half his remaining debt from fighting off last year’s abortive, Don Perata-conceived recall campaign.

Though Denham – now raising funds for his 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor – handily defeated last June’s recall effort with 75 percent of voters in his 12th State Senate District voting “no,” campaign finance reports show the Friends of Jeff Denham Against the Recall committee finished 2008 with $308,110 in the bank and $433,050 in outstanding debts. The only major contribution the anti-recall committee had received in 2009 was $5,000 from the Gun Owners of California Campaign Committee last month – until Tuesday, when PAQ laid down a cool $50,000. The company also had given $15,000 last August.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.