Former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl and former Santa Monica City Councilman Bobby Shriver have raised a combined $3.5 million this year in their high-profile quest to win the Westside and San Fernando Valley seat held by termed-out L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, finance reports show.
The two took in over $3 million leading up to the June primary vote, and in their first filings since then, covering a five-week period ending June 30, both continued to raise money at a brisk clip. Shriver reported receiving $298,000 from business and real estate interests, powerful figures in the TV and film industry and many members of his politically prominent family.
Kuehl, who served 14 years in the state Assembly and Senate, raised $175,000 from unions, educators, a number of former and current legislators and more than a dozen county lifeguards who gave her $100 each.
In the primary, Kuehl finished first out of eight candidates with 36% of the vote. Shriver drew 29%, earning a chance to face Kuehl in the Nov. 4 runoff. Both candidates have agreed to raise and spend no more than $1.4 million for the general election. That’s a marked change for Shriver, who raised nearly $2 million in the primary, half of it from his own wallet.
Spending in the race could soar in coming months, however, as independent committees that have no fundraising limits give freely to their favored candidates. So far, three so-called Super PACs have emerged, all supporting Shriver’s candidacy.
Spending by the independent committees for the primary election was relatively tame, reaching about $258,000, much of it for mailers praising Shriver. After the primary, a third group supporting Shriver was created: the Neighborhood Alliance for Safe & Healthy Families Supporting Bobby Shriver.
Run by Shallman Communications, a political consulting group in Encino, Neighborhood Alliance last month said it would seek contributions from business, real estate and other sectors interested in backing Shriver. It’s not clear whether the group has completed its filing paperwork and started raising money.
In the latest reporting period, Shriver received a number of contributions from members of his family, including his sister, NBC special correspondent Maria Shriver. As in the past, Hollywood moguls, including media executive Barry Diller, director Jerry Bruckheimer and producers Rob Reiner and David Geffen, contributed to Shriver.
Austin Beutner, former jobs czar to former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, gave to his campaign, as did financial guru Warren Buffet, New York clothing designer Diane Von Furstenberg and individuals from the Los Angeles business and real estate sectors.
Kuehl’s backers include civil rights attorney Gloria Allred; the California Nurses Assn.; the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters; Robert Singer, a curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Rorie Skie, chief deputy director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.
She also received several contributions from other elected officials, professors and lawyers.
In the runoff to replace county Assessor John Noguez, who is on paid leave while he battles corruption charges, West Hollywood City Councilman and assessor’s office manager Jeffrey Prang maintained a fundraising lead over his opponent, prosecutor John Morris.
Morris raised $23,000 in the last filing period, bringing his total for the campaign to about $145,000, while Prang had raised about $87,000 for a total of about $370,000. In addition, an independent committee set up to support him had pulled in more than $30,000 before the primary election.
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