Students wave to their family members and friends as they wait to collect their deplomas during the Santa Monica College 2011 graduation ceremony at the Corsair Field. (File photo).

SMC — For a body whose existence many Santa Monicans aren’t aware of, the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees candidates sure have raised a lot of money.

Between independent expenditures, personal loans, and candidate fundraising, more than $150,000 has been dropped into the six-candidate race to fill four contested college board seats.

It’s been a long time since significant money was spent in a college board race. Candidates ran unopposed in 2012 and 2010. By this time in the year of the last contested election, 2008, candidates had raised less than $20,000 and spent about $5,000, according to campaign disclosure statements.

Retired professor and challenger Dennis Frisch has raised and spent the most money thus far, thanks to a $30,000 contribution from the Santa Monica College Faculty Association Political Action Committee (PAC).

This PAC also spent more than $12,000 on independent campaign mailers for Frisch, challenger Maria Loya, and incumbent Nancy Greenstein.

In total, Frisch has raised $43,510 and spent $34,325 to date. Much of the cash has been spent on consulting and campaign literature.

Incumbent Louise Jaffe places second in the cash race, with $32,554 raised and $13,391 spent, much of it on campaign literature. Jaffe has loaned herself $13,000. By this time in her last contested race, 2006, she’d spent and raised nearly identical amounts of money.

Challenger Maria Loya has raised $28,334 and spent $24,648 of that. Her money has gone toward consulting, literature, and campaign paraphernalia, according to disclosure statements.

The Santa Monica College Faculty Association PAC has supplied the bulk of her money through a $20,000 contribution. Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver also threw in $500.

Incumbent Andrew Walzer has pulled in $24,233, with $10,000 coming in from a loan to himself. Walzer has spent just $5,700, leaving him with the most cash on hand, according to campaign disclosure statements.

At this point in his last contested election, 2006, Walzer had raised $20,000.

Incumbent Barry Snell, who was appointed to his seat earlier this year, has raised just over $8,000, according campaign disclosure statements. This includes a $1,000 loan to himself. Snell, a former member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Board of Education, has spent $5,299 on his campaign.

Nancy Greenstein, the longest standing incumbent, has raised $5,500 and spent $4,700. She carries over about $9,000 from previous years.

By this time in her last contested race, 2006, she’d raised $3,550.

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