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California

Garcetti reelection fundraising slows in second half of 2015

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

Mayor Eric Garcetti has raised more than $2.2 million toward his 2017 reelection effort.

(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti raised about $7,300 toward his reelection campaign during the second half of 2015, bringing his campaign war chest to more than $2.23 million, according to a report his campaign is filing with city officials Monday.

The amount shows a dramatic slowdown in contributions from the first six months of the year, when Garcetti raised over $2.2 million -- a record-setting sum for the first stretch of a mayoral re-election campaign.

His campaign manager, Bill Carrick, said Garcetti has not raised more because he does not yet plan to surpass the $2.237-million general-election spending cap for candidates who wish to receive matching funds.

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“At the end of last quarter we were really closing in on the cap,” Carrick said. He said he would only anticipate exceeding the matching-funds cap if Garcetti’s reelection race becomes competitive.

It is also common for incumbents to aggressively fundraise in the earliest stages of a reelection campaign in order to scare off potential opponents.

Until recently, Garcetti’s only challengers were political unknowns. Last week that changed as Mitchell Schwartz, the California director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and a former campaign official for former President Clinton, said he planned to challenge Garcetti in 2017.

Schwartz filed papers to begin fundraising on Thursday.

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Steve Barr, the founder of a prominent chain of charter schools, also said last week that he is weighing a challenge to Garcetti. However, Barr has not yet filed the necessary paperwork to accept campaign contributions and said he won’t decide for several months whether to enter the race.

Twitter: @petejamison

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