CITYWIDE – Several candidates for City Council are already stacking dollars for their campaign run this year.
Seven candidates have filed campaign finance disclosure statements, allowing them to raise cash in advance of the November election.
There are three contested council seats this year, one of which is open. Longtime Councilmember Bob Holbrook told the Daily Press last week that he would not seek reelection.
Planning Commissioner Sue Himmelrich has loaned herself $30,000, of which $7,550 was spent on campaign manager Denny Zane, the co-founder of the city’s largest political party Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR).
Former Mayor Michael Feinstein loaned himself $24,495 of the $26,450 that he’s raised, according to the most recent campaign disclosure statements. He’s spent more than $5,000.
Planning Commissioner Richard McKinnon has raised $24,637, which includes a $15,000 loan to himself. He’s spent more than $11,000, largely on consulting and campaign literature.
Recreation and Parks Commissioner Phil Brock raised $8,340, which includes a loan to himself, and has spent just under $3,000.
Mayor Pam O’Connor comes into this year’s race with nearly $4,000 on hand and an outstanding balance of $5,000 in campaign consulting fees.
Councilmember Kevin McKeown has filed his campaign finance paperwork but has yet to raise or spend money, according to the most recent documents.
The same is true of Planning Commission Chair Jennifer Kennedy.
In the past two council elections, winners have spent anywhere from about $30,000 to $65,000 on their own races with larger sums of money coming into the race through independent expenditures.
Both Himmelrich and Kennedy are using SMRR Steering Committee member Roger Thornton as their campaign treasurer, according to the documents. Thornton did not recuse himself when the SMRR committee recently voted to support Kennedy and McKeown.
Board of Education
Only three candidates for the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education have filed campaign finance paperwork thus far and only one has raised money, according to the most recent documents.
Boardmember Laurie Lieberman has raised just over $1,500 and spent about $500.
Boardmember Ralph Mechur and Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights co-Chair Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein are also open for business.
Four candidates for the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees have filed paperwork to raise money thus far. Incumbents Barry Snell and Andrew Walzer have not yet spent or received money, according to the latest filing, nor has challenger Maria Loya.
Challenger Dennis Frisch has raised $22,400, with most of that ($20,000) coming from the Santa Monica College Faculty Association Political Action Committee.
He’s spent $12,000 of that with most of it going toward campaign consulting.
None of the Rent Control Board candidates have filed campaign finance paperwork and no independent expenditures have been filed.
In previous campaigns, this outside spending starts rolling in about a month before the election.