Supporters of Antonio Villaraigosa created a super PAC on Friday in support of the Democrat’s gubernatorial bid, according to a filing with the California Secretary of State’s office.
Villaraigosa Governor of California 2018 can accept unlimited contributions from donors to support the former Los Angeles mayor’s attempt to catch up with front-runner Gavin Newsom ahead of the June 5 primary. Such independent expenditure committees cannot coordinate with candidates or campaigns.
The move comes as Villaraigosa is placing second in the polls and badly lags behind Newsom in fundraising.
At least two super PACs are supporting Newsom’s bid.
Michael Trujillo, a long-time Villaraigosa aide, and Bill Burton, former deputy White House press secretary in the Obama administration, are leading the group, according to a person familiar with the PAC’s plans who was not at liberty to discuss them publicly.
The Benenson Strategy Group, which worked on the Obama and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns, will conduct polling for the super PAC. Tracy Austin, who previously worked for Newsom, has been named as a fundraiser.
Information about donors who are contributing to the group and the amount of money the super PAC has been able to raise will be public in March.