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Davis Leads in Santa Monica Council Campaign Fundraising
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Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jonathan Friedman

August 3, 2016 -- Incumbent Gleam Davis holds an early lead in fundraising for the four-seat City Council race, according to mid-year campaign finance disclosure statements submitted this week.

She has collected approximately $19,000. That includes $8,000 she loaned her campaign and approximately $6,1000 carried over from her 2012 committee.

The other money came from various people who are restricted by City law to donating a maximum of $350.

Among Davis’ contributors were Planning Commissioner Gerda Newbold, school board member Laurie Lieberman, Santa Monica College Trustee Susan Aminoff, school board candidate Jon Kean and education activist Shari Davis.

Fellow incumbent Ted Winterer has $11,360 in the bank, all coming from contributors who gave this year.

Donors include former mayors Bobby Shriver and Mike Feinstein, Councilmember Kevin McKeown (technically coming from his previous campaign committee), Councilmember Sue Himmelrich and Planning Commissioner Newbold.

Mayor Tony Vazquez has raised $5,825 this year, with contributors including Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) co-founder and co-chair Denny Zane as well as Santa Monica College facilities director Linda Sullivan.

Councilmember Terry O’Day’s statement showed he has not raised any money this year, but has approximately $3,800 from his 2012 campaign.

Davis, Winterer and Vazquez can also count on the backing of Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights, whose Political Action Committee reported donations totaling $40,675 to date and has spent $41,799, according to its disclosure statement.

The group -- which traditionally has supports its slate with campaign mailers and an army of campaign volunteers -- had a beginning cash balance of $64,678, leaving it with a cash balance of $63,799.

The SMMR steering committee could add a fourth candidate to its slate later this month. O'Day, who finished fourth in his bid for the group's endorsement at its convention Sunday, said he expects to receive its backing ("Santa Monica Council Incumbent Says He Deserves SMRR’s Support," August 1, 2016).

Planning Commissioner Jennifer Kennedy also is in the running for an endorsement. Two years ago, the steering committee voted to add her to the slate ("SMRR Backs McKeown, Kennedy for Santa Monica City Council," August 11, 2014).

In 2014, SMRR received more than $110,000 in campaign contributions, its highest total in ten years, in large part due to donations from candidates it endorsed and members of their families.

None of the potential challengers in this year’s council race submitted statements saying they had raised money. But it is early.

Jorge Casuso contributed to this report.

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