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Carolyn Ramsay leads David Ryu in fundraising for L.A. City Council race

L.A. City Council candidate Carolyn Ramsay leading in fundraising ahead of May 19 runoff against David Ryu

Less than two weeks ahead of election day, newly released reports show that Los Angeles City Council candidate Carolyn Ramsay has raised more money than rival David Ryu in the race to represent a district stretching from Sherman Oaks to the Miracle Mile.

Ramsay, former chief of staff to termed-out Councilman Tom LaBonge, has taken in more than $355,000 since she and Ryu beat out a dozen other candidates for a chance to go head-to-head in the May 19 runoff, according to new fundraising totals released Thursday.

Ryu, who was the biggest fundraiser in the packed primary, has raised more than $292,000 for the runoff race so far, including a $20,000 loan to himself.

His recent donors include the Korean American Democratic Committee, the Laborers’ Local 300 construction and maintenance workers union committee, and Bernard Parks Jr., the son and chief of staff of Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who has endorsed Ryu.

Ryu has also received campaign donations from committees tied to state lawmakers, most recently Assemblymen David Chiu and Reggie Jones-Sawyer. He has pledged to not take campaign money from local developers, arguing that it diminishes the trust of community members.

Ramsay, whose campaign has derided Ryu’s pledge as a gimmick, does count developers among her donors, as well as political committees tied to the local chapter of the Sierra Club, the firefighters union and the Central City Assn., a downtown business advocacy group. She has touted that the majority of her campaign money comes from residents and businesses in or near the district.

Nederlander, the company that has long run the Greek Theatre, also gave to the Ramsay campaign, as did multiple executives tied to Live Nation, which was locked in a lengthy battle with Nederlander over which company would run the venue before the city opted to operate the Greek itself. The tug-of-war over who should run the Greek has been a major issue in Los Feliz, part of the contested council district.

Ramsay has also gotten more in city matching funds than Ryu — $125,000 compared with nearly $57,000 as of earlier this month, according to city totals. The Ryu campaign, in turn, is benefiting from independent committees spending money to support his candidacy, but so far those committees have only spent about $12,000 to back him in the runoff race.

The financial reports, available through the ethics commission website, cover donations received by the campaigns until May 2. The two candidates will face off in an election May 19.

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