Candidates Preparing for the 2006 Primary

Candidates intending to run for senatorial and assembly positions in California's state legislature for the 2006 Primary are beefing up their war chests, according to the California secretary of state's office.

La Cañada Flintridge's mayor, Anthony Portantino, reported raising $186,947 between Jan. 1 and June 30 towards his run for the 44th Assembly seat, which Carol Liu will be termed out of next year. His reported cash on hand at this point - before he has filed candidacy papers - is $283,709.

The next closest candidate to Portantino in the race for contributions is Diana Peterson-More, who reported $147,475 raised during the same period. Her cash-on-hand figure is currently set at $193,813.

Portantino and Peterson-More are both Democrats, as are the others listed by the secretary of state: Adam Murray (raised $120,356, has $119,315 on hand), Brian Center (raised $82,467, has $88,972 on hand) and David Trujillo, with no fund-raising reported.

Commenting on the fact his campaign has raised the most funds to date, Portantino said in an interview Tuesday, "So far, the reaction to my campaign has been very positive and humbling. I'm having a lot fun and enjoying getting things done."

Asked about his political aspirations, he said, "Over the last seven years we've [the city council] gotten a lot done in La Cañada Flintridge by having a positive attitude...those are examples and attitudes I want to bring to the rest of my career."

Peterson-More said in a telephone interview Wednesday, "I'm confident and I'm on track. My path will lead me to victory.

"Each of us who is in the race brings different skill sets and possibilities. My work and professional life position me well."

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