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Newsom Tops Gubernatorial Election Fundraising in Santa Monica


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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

May 30, 2017 -- If donations indicate popularity, then Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the most popular gubernatorial candidate in Santa Monica.

The San Francisco Democrat leads all candidates seeking the State of California’s highest office in Santa Monica fundraising, according to financial statements posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

The latest information shows Newsom raised nearly $80,000 from the beginning of 2015 through the end of 2016. Information on how he and all other candidats have done so far this year must be submitted by the end of July.

Newsom’s top Santa Monica donor is attorney Craig Jacobson, who has given $28,000. The maximum amount a person can give to a gubernatorial candidate’s campaign is $29,200.

His campaign also has the most amount of money in the bank overall, according to published reports. Financial statements submitted to the Secretary of State’s office show he raised a total of $9.7 million in 2015 and 2016.

Next on the Santa Monica fundraising list is former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who collected $49,950 during the two-year stretch beginning in 2015.

More than half of Villaraigosa’s Santa Monica total comes from William J. McMorrow, chief executive officer of the real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson. He gave the former mayor’s campaign $28,000.

Villaraigosa is also a Democrat. He took in a total of $2.7 million for 2015-16.

The only other candidate to raise money from Santa Monica is John Chiang, current State Treasurer. Another Democrat, he received $8,300 in Santa Monica for the two-year stretch. No donation amount exceeded $2,000.

Although Chiang trailed Villaraigosa in Santa Monica fundraising during that period, the treasurer collected more statewide with $4.2 million.

There are other announced candidates for governor, including former California superintendent of public instruction Delaine Eastin (also a Democrat) and Republican attorney John Cox.

The gubernatorial election is a long way away and many things could change between now and the primary in June 2018. All candidates will run in the same primary, and the top two vote-getters will move to November general election regardless of party.

Santa Monica is known worldwide for its left-wing politics and usually the majority votes for Democratic candidates. Facing Republican opponents in 2010 and 2014, Brown enjoyed larger victories in Santa Monica that he received statewide both years.

In 2010, Brown received 72.1 percent of the Santa Monica vote versus 53.8 percent statewide. And in 2014, he earned 78.1 percent support locally and just under 60 percent in California overall.


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