Candidates work on war chests

With the Feb. 26 primary fast approaching, candidates for public office in Burbank have begun fundraising in earnest, records show.

The six hopefuls vying for three City Council seats have collectively raised nearly $30,000 on the campaign, according to recent campaign expenditure reports filed at the city clerk’s office.

LAPD Officer Bob Frutos is leading fundraising efforts in the first stretch of the race, having amassed $7,799 in contributions as of Jan. 12.

Roughly half that amount comes from a $4,200 loan from himself, but the other half comes from 19 sources, including $250 from the Los Angeles Police Protective League — the union that represents L.A. police officers — and $100 from Burbank Police Commissioner Elise Stearns-Niesen.

All but four of his sources are Burbank-affiliated, according to his statement.

Frutos reported spending $5,915 on campaign materials as of Jan. 12.

On Tuesday, Frutos — who is running again after losing the 2011 election by 86 votes — hosted a campaign kickoff where he raised an additional $1,000, which will be logged on his next financial statement, he said.

“A lot of people who supported me the last time are definitely excited abut my candidacy, running again,” he said.

Optometrist David Gordon, who is serving his seventh year on the council, has amassed $6,187 thus far, including $3,000 he lent to his campaign.

The remaining $3,187 comes from 20 sources, 15 of which are Burbank-affiliated.

“In a difficult economy, it’s difficult for people to make contributions,” Gordon said. ”I greatly appreciate the support that’s come in.”

He has spent $4,005 on campaign materials, according to his Jan. 12 statement.

Jess Talamantes, a retired firefighter who’s wrapping up his first term on the council, has collected $4,847 in campaign contributions, including $2,910 he lent to himself, according to the filings.

Talamantes culled $1,750 from eight Burbank residents and one business — Burbank’s Handy Market. He had spent $2,805 on campaign materials as of Jan. 12.

Political newcomer Juan Guillen has reportedly received $4,434 — $684 of which he lent to himself.

He reported a $250 contribution from Luther Middle School Assistant Principal Liz Costella and $40 from Carlos Cerdan, a Los Angeles Unified teacher.

The remaining $3,460 was collected at a pizza fundraiser with students from Downey Adult School, where he teaches physical fitness, he said.

Guillen was not required to itemize each individual contribution, as they each amounted to less than $50.

He also raised roughly $500 at a fundraiser last week, which will be included in his next report, Guillen said.

Dave Golonski, an incumbent with nearly two decades on the council, raised $3,785 in contributions from 35 contributors, all but two of whom live in Burbank. He also personally contributed $500 to his campaign.

“We’re on track to have enough money to run a decent campaign,” Golonski said. “We’re working as hard as we can to get our message out there.”

Golonski had reportedly spent $787 on lawn signs and other campaign materials as of Jan. 12.

Former school board member David Nos has received $1,050 in independent contributions from five contributors, all but one of whom live in Burbank.

When reached Wednesday, Nos said he was waiting until after the holidays to launch his fundraising efforts.

He held a fundraiser Tuesday, the details of which will be listed in his next financial statement, he added.

“I’m doing the best I can to reach a lot of people,” he said. “Knocking on doors, talking to people, having coffees — you win one vote at a time.”

City Clerk

The three candidates for city clerk have together collected nearly $14,000, with Interim City Clerk Zizette Mullins leading by more than double the next closest candidate.

Mullins has raised $9,208 from 47 sources, 11 of which are Burbank-affiliated.

Gloria Salas has raised $3,130 in monetary contributions from 18 sources, and has spent roughly $2,650 on campaign materials.

Nonna von Sonn has raised $1,575 from 13 contributors, in addition to personally investing $565.

School Board

Five candidates running for two spots on the Burbank Unified school board, meanwhile, have raised more than $29,000, collectively. But the overwhelming majority of that amount is tied to challenger Armond Aghakhanian, a Woodbury University professor who reported $14,495 in contributions, including $3,400 of his own money.

The majority of his donations came in via nearly 50 contributors.

Incumbent Larry Applebaum, who was first elected to the board in 2005, has raised just $922, the majority of which came from three contributors, including himself.

Charlene Tabet, a former teacher and years-long PTA member, lent $5,000 to herself, and two contributors pitched in $500 more.

Steve Ferguson, principal of a political consulting firm, raised $3,866. Some of his 17 contributors include current school board member Roberta Reynolds, former Burbank mayors Marsha Ramos and Mary Lou Howard, and Glendale City Councilman Rafi Manoukian.

Candidate David Dobson — a freelance video editor with two children in Burbank schools — has raised $4,635 with help from about 25 contributors. He took out two loans totaling $670, according to the campaign filings.

Feb. 11 is the last day to register to vote in the Feb. 26 primary.

Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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