In his Statement of Economic Interests, mayoral candidate Ralph Lee White, a south Stockton landlord and bail bondsman, reported owning two businesses – a rental property company and a motel – worth more than $1 million each. The former city councilman’s bail bonds business is worth a bit less, at $100,001 to $1 million, according to his report.
The 65-year-old apparently is by far the wealthiest candidate of the bunch, though his exact worth is uncertain (the state does not require candidates to disclose the exact worth of their investments; they must only check ranges, “more than $1 million” being the most).
Asked this afternoon how much he is worth, White said, “I’ve never even really thought about it.”
He laughed and said, “I’m worth a few million.”
It was suggested that he might be worth more than a few. He said, accurately, “It depends on what is a few.”
There are no local limits on what candidates may spend on their own campaigns, though in previous races White has spent very little.
He said he won’t be among the top spenders in this year’s race. San Joaquin County Supervisor Steve Gutierrez, former Councilwoman Ann Johnston and Councilman Clem Lee, the front-runners, are all expected to raise and spend more than $200,000.
White said he doesn’t need that.
“I’ve got name recognition. I’m better than all them anyway,” he said. “My name is a household name whether you like it or not. If you’ve been in town two weeks you know Ralph white. Or if you don’t know him, you’ve heard of him.”