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Lynwood Councilman Richards Reports Campaign Debt : Biggest Vote-Getter Was Biggest Spender

Times Staff Writer

Paul H. Richards, who received more votes than any candidate in recent city history in his election to the City Council in November, apparently also spent a record amount--$31,687.

In reports filed with the Lynwood city clerk’s office, Richards also disclosed that he has a campaign debt of more than $21,000, including $13,315 owed to the Committee to Re-Elect Robert Adams. Adams is a Compton city councilman. Richards, an attorney, is chief of staff for the Compton City Council.

Richards easily outspent his opponents, and City Hall observers say they believe no council candidate has ever approached the money Richards spent to replace the late Louis A. Thompson.

Alfreddie Johnson Jr., who finished second to Richards, reported spending $3,614. That included $500 from Councilman Robert Henning.

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Louis J. Heine, the third-place finisher, spent $5,801. Councilman E. L. Morris loaned Heine $500, according to the records.

Needed Name Identification

Richards, who is now serving as mayor, said his spending was necessary to establish name identification and to rebut some of the charges made during the campaign.

“Some people were saying that I didn’t live in the city, that I was not an attorney,” Richards said.

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Richards, 30, said he intends to pay back the money by holding a series of fund-raisers.

The campaign statements show that the Adams campaign committee spent $10,505 on behalf of the Richards campaign for printing and typesetting. In addition, the campaign loaned Richards $2,810. Councilman Adams’ son, Laurence, loaned Richards $1,250.

The bulk of the remaining debt came from $5,500 in loans that Richards and his wife, Dorothy, put into the campaign.

Money from Robert Adams’ committee or Laurence Adams, who is a city employee for Compton, should not be interpreted as that of Compton officials attempting to become involved in Lynwood, Richards said. Richards said Laurence Adams “is a lifetime friend, someone I’ve known all my life. I graduated from high school with him.”

Trend Is to Spend More

Morris, who has been on the Lynwood council for 15 years, said the money spent by Richards reflects “the increase in the cost of campaigning.”

Morris said he ran on a slate in 1985 with two others and the entire slate spent between $4,000 and $5,000.

“It’s the normal situation today for a candidate to spend more money, even in a small community like Lynwood,” Morris said.

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Richards received 2,229 or 34% of the 6,476 votes cast, Johnson got 28% and Heine, 26%. None of the other five candidates received more than 300 votes.

Carlos P. Manlapaz reported spending $3,963 of his own money, while George Lewis spent $654. John M. James, Leonard Gibbs and James Rowe filed statements saying they spent $500 or less.


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