YouTube spot for Lincoln dealers
A Bakersfield-based potato magnate has kicked in $32,400 to the putative California gubernatorial campaign of ex-San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, bringing fresh attention to domestic violence allegations bought against his partner and fellow San Joaquin Valley tater king.
Jason Davenport, a Republican high-roller and president of Allied Potato, Inc., who made his contribution to Faulconer's cause on March 1, started the company back in 2007. Two years later, he was joined in the firm by fellow potato grower and packer Brian Kirschenmann, per Allied Potato's website.
"Since Davenport and Kirschenmann partnered in 2009, the company has expanded to its current state of growing and shipping about several thousand acres of potatoes—most of them for the chip market—in California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado, and today is perhaps the most prolific exporter of U.S. potatoes," says a 2019 profile of the pair by PotatoGrower.com.
"I think exporting potatoes is one of the most challenging things you can do," Davenport is quoted as saying. "Not everyone succeeds at it. We enjoy the challenge, the successes, and the mistakes. You learn through the mistakes, and it makes you better."
The pair have long been donors to GOP causes, with Davenport coming up with a total of $61,400 for national campaigns over the last two years, including $2800 to Trump for President last August 18, $6350 to the Trump-aligned Great America Committee in May and July, and $11,400 for the WinRed committee of the Republican National Committee.
Kirschenmann has similarly supported GOP campaigns, including those of Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, with $19,000, California Victory 2018, $25,000, and Take Back the House 2020 with $5600, for a total of $86,200. In October 2016, He and his wife Katie threw a lavish fundraiser at their downtown Bakersfield mansion for state Assembly Republican Vince Fong.
Both Davenport and Kirschenmann are high-profile in the potato business, with Davenport a member of the boardof Potatoes, USA a marketing group.
"Davenport has been married to his wife, Nichole, for 20 years. They have two sons, Brayden (age 19) and Trennyn (age 15), and two daughters, Kaitlyn (age 17) and Ashlyn (age 10). He enjoys basketball, snow skiing, wakeboarding, travel, golf, and flying," says an April 2016 account by industry trade outlet Spudman.
In October 2018, Kirschenmann was named by Trump Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to the Department of Agriculture's Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee at the behest of GOP House member McCarthy, reported Bakersfield.com.
McCarthy, along with fellow House Republicans Devin Nunes and David Valadao, "signed a letter sent to Perdue last May in support of Kirschenmann's nomination. They noted the veteran grower is a recognized leader in his field, and not only serves on the Kern County Farm Bureau's board of directors but is also chairman of the California Potato Research Advisory Board."
Last month, Bakersfield T.V. station KGET reported that Kirschenmann was freed on $25,000 bail after pleading not guilty to charges of assaulting Katie in the wake of a nasty divorce case.
"According to a police report, Katherine Kirschenmann, 45, told police Kirschenmann shoved her during an argument September 22 in their home in Bakersfield's Westchester neighborhood," per the T.V. station’s report.
"Katherine Kirschenmann told police she fell backward and struck her head on a hardwood floor. She was treated at the scene for a cut, but a doctor later told her she had suffered a concussion, she told police."