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Friday, May 06, 2005

LA-Mayor: Fundraising Blowout

Posted by Bob Brigham

From the LA Times:

Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, who is aggressively raising money to finance his second bid for the city's highest office, had raised almost $1.7 million more than incumbent James K. Hahn as the Los Angeles mayoral race entered its final stage.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday showed that Villaraigosa had collected more than $2.8 million for the runoff campaign through the end of last month compared with less than $1.2 million for Hahn.

Ouch. Villariagosa's huge lead in the polls appears to have short-circuited Hahn's fundraising.

But the slower pace of Hahn's fundraising adds to the impression of a mayor "floundering" in his reelection quest, said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a USC political science professor.

"It appears as though the mayor has totally stalled, and that the money is on Villaraigosa," she said. "That's the perception, and in politics, perception is reality."

Consistently low poll ratings have made it hard for Hahn to draw support from donors who normally would lavish contributions on a sitting mayor with leverage over business interests at City Hall.

Villaraigosa's campaign manager, Ace Smith, said Hahn's latest fundraising report showed that the mayor is "in deep trouble."

"An incumbent mayor being out-raised by a challenger is a sign of a critically ill campaign," Smith said.

Posted at 01:23 PM in 2005 Elections, California | Technorati