Connor Vlakancic for Congressman
Posted on Wed, Mar. 03, 2004
Risley to run against Farr
By DAN LAIDMAN
A Pacific Grove businessman and rookie politician looks to be the Republican nominee to challenge incumbent congressman Sam Farr.
As results trickled in Tuesday, Peninsula Sports Management owner Mark Risley held a consistent and commanding lead over challenger Connor Vlakancic. At a party for supervisorial candidate Steve Collins in downtown Monterey, Risley said he was looking forward to the admittedly daunting challenge of taking on a popular incumbent.
"I think the people of this area deserve to have a viable challenger to Sam Farr," he said.
In the Democratic primary, Farr, D-Carmel, appeared to have easily vanquished challenger Art Dunn.
Risley, who has never held elective office, spent much of the primary season attacking Farr. In print ads and on his Web site, Risley tore into the congressman for being a career politician and for his votes on taxes and foreign policy. Farr has responded by calling Risley "angry" and saying the novice politician has yet to lay out an agenda of his own.
Risley denied Tuesday that he was running a negative campaign, saying he was merely laying Farr's record out before the voters. Still, he signaled he wanted to shift tactics for the general election, calling Farr "a very nice man" and saying "it goes against my grain to run a negative campaign."
Vlakancic, owner of 5 Star Group International, a company that imports wine and food from Croatia, had made several previous unsuccessful runs for Congress in Silicon Valley.
Dan Laidman can be reached at 646-4346.