In a replay of the 1986 campaign against incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Richard E. Floyd, out-of-district Republican heavyweights are funneling large contributions in the final weeks of the campaign to this year’s challenger in the 53rd District, Charles Bookhammer, a Hawthorne city councilman.
Between Oct. 1 and Oct. 22, Bookhammer received three contributions totaling almost $100,000 from Republican campaign organizations, including a $45,000 donation that is the largest single contribution in any South Bay campaign this fall.
Two years ago, Republican state leaders sent tens of thousands of dollars in October to Floyd’s opponent, Roger Fiola, who lost.
In 1986, as now, the campaign for the 53rd Assembly District--a traditionally Democratic area that includes the working-class communities of Hawthorne, Gardena, Carson, Lawndale and Harbor Gateway--was marked by heated invective and hit-piece mailers from both sides.
The large Republican contributions give Bookhammer an edge in fund raising during the first three weeks in October. He received $109,894 while Floyd got $71,452. On a cumulative basis, however, the 4-term incumbent still leads, with his total--$409,255--amounting to almost twice what Bookhammer got--$211,188.
The $45,000 contribution came from Target 88, a political campaign committee officially affiliated with the California Republican Party, the state Senate Republican Political Action Committee and the Assembly Republican Political Action Committee.
Contributing $15,000 was the Majority Committee, based in Costa Mesa, which is a statewide Republican political action committee that is trying to build a Republican majority in the state Assembly.
Bookhammer also reported receiving $39,600 in printing and postage from the California Republican Party, bringing his total for the campaign from the state GOP to $51,176.
Floyd’s largest cash contribution during the first three weeks of October was $5,000 from the Southwest Regional Council of United Food and Commercial Workers Education Fund. Next largest was a $3,000 donation from the California Hotel and Motel Assn. Political Action Committee.
He received $7,433 from the Assembly Democrats organization in the form of office overhead and travel, bringing his cumulative total to $26,580. The Democratic State Central Committee absorbed $13,932 in printing and mailing costs for Floyd.
In the 51st Assembly District, Republican incumbent Gerald Felando of San Pedro continued a commanding lead in contributions over his Democratic challenger, Torrance Councilman Mark Wirth.
The 51st District is a solidly Republican area that includes Torrance, the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Lomita and part of San Pedro.
Felando reported $59,055 in contributions during the first three weeks of October, with a cumulative total of $578,133. Wirth reported $6,127 with a total of $21,365.
Felando’s largest contributions between Oct. 1 and Oct. 22 were a pair of $4,000 donations, one from Political Action Committee of the Assn. of California Insurers and the other from the California Real Estate Political Action Committee.
Wirth received a $2,000 contribution from the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council No. 16 and a $1,000 donation from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council No. 36.
In the 29th Senate District, it was much the same story.
Republican incumbent Sen. Robert G. Beverly of Manhattan Beach raised $36,557 in cash contributions, bringing his cumulative total to $110,982.
His Democratic opponent, Jack Hachmeister, a Manhattan Beach attorney, received one-tenth as much--$3,730--during the same period. His cumulative total, $9,360, was less than one-tenth that of Beverly.
The 29th Senate District, which is heavily Republican, stretches from El Segundo and the beach cities through Torrance, Lomita and the Palos Verdes Peninsula to San Pedro, Long Beach and Signal Hill.