Wendy Greuel faces campaign debt following mayor’s race

Wendy Greuel speaks at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena during the mayoral campaign.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The expensive and hard-fought race for Los Angeles mayor left former candidate Wendy Greuel with more than $518,000 in outstanding campaign debts, according to fundraising numbers turned in this week.

The report, which covers the fundraising period that ended June 30, showed the former city controller spent considerably more than she took in during the campaign’s final days.

She lost to Eric Garcetti, who took office as mayor July 1.

The debt could complicate any effort by Greuel to launch another bid for public office. How much of it has been paid down over the last four weeks is unclear.


FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor

Greuel could not be reached for comment and her lawyer, Stephen Kaufman, said only that Greuel “is continuing to work on retiring her debt.”

Greuel’s latest fundraising report showed her campaign owed more than $203,000 to Simi Valley-based Patricia Duchene, who printed literature for the campaign, and more than $130,000 to the political consulting firm headed by her strategist, John Shallman.

In addition, Greuel forgave a $100,000 personal loan that she provided to her campaign in the final weeks before the May 21 runoff election, according to the report.

The fundraising numbers were due to the city’s Ethics Commission on Wednesday.

Garcetti reported a considerably smaller debt of $38,234. Together, the two candidates spent nearly $19.3 million over the course of the campaign.

Greuel, who spent more than a decade at City Hall, has been dropping hints about staying in politics, telling The Times last month that supporters had encouraged her to run for the seat being vacated next year by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, or for state controller.

Former State Sen. Sheila Kuehl, who has already launched her own campaign for Yaroslavsky’s seat, sent a fundraising pitch to supporters Monday that alluded to the possibility of others jumping into the race.

“As you may have heard, there are several names being thrown around in the press of potential challengers for this seat,” Kuehl wrote. “It is vital that I have a strong enough financial showing to hopefully ‘encourage’ these folks to stay out.”


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