Money flowing in Santa Ana local races

Our friends at the Total Buzz blog have published campaign finance updates for the local races in Santa Ana, as follows:

Miguel Pulido – $8,248
Stanley Fiala – n/a
Thomas Gordon – n/a

Ward 2 City Council
Tish Leon – $53,660
Fortino Rivera – $26,088
Michele Martinez – $21,303
Evangeline Gawronski – $13,882

Ward 4 City Council
David Benavides – $24,909
Nelida Yanez – $9,401

Ward 6 City Council
Jennifer Villasenor – $11,009
Sal Tinajero – $5,049
George Collins – n/a

Ward 2 is clearly the toughest race going. Leon lent herself $50,000, which instantly made her a player whereas Rivera and Martinez are raising money the old-fashioned way. In Rivera’s case that means taking money from Pulido’s contributors, whereas Martinez is remaining competitive despite the fact that the city establishment is behind Rivera. The only Republican in the race, Gawronski, is holding her own, but likely finding it tougher to raise money in a city dominated by Democrats, and a race that features so many other well-funded campaigns. I still think her odds are good if you consider how the other campaigns appear to be splitting the Latino vote.

In Ward 4, Yanez has raised almost $10,000 against the Puildo-backed candidate, Benavides. That looks better when you consider that the Pulido-backed candidate in Ward 6, Jennifer Villasenor, has raised only $11,009 – barely more than Yanez’s total take. In fact, Yanez has raised more than Pulido himself. And she has raised almost twice as much as Sal Tinajero, the school board member running against Villasenor.

I’m a bit surprised that Tinajero has not raised more. I suspect his final numbers will be a lot higher. I also think that labor will spend a lot on his behalf, in the form of independent expenditures.

Back to Benavides – why has he taken cash from the faith based organization SAJE Foundation if he is pro choice? He told me that he is pro-life, but he has told others that he is pro-choice. He needs to make up his mind or not talk about the issue altogether. He also abstained from voting on the Kelly’s auto shop expansion, as a member of the planning commission. Why? He took cash of course.

I know some of my readers are going to ask me why Thomas Gordon and George Collins, two candidates I am supporting, have not reported any campaign donations. They have each been attending numerous neighborhood meetings and forums, as well as the Patrias festival in downtown Santa Ana. Collins has also been busy filming the forums. You can find streaming excerpts on his website.

Pulido is clearly not worried about his opponents. He is hardly raising any money. That’s great! There are dozens of distinct constituencies angry at him – his fellow Democrat, Phil Angelides is dragging down all Democrats – and voters are angry at incumbents in general. I hope he continues to ignore his own race. Memo to Pulido: go raise more for Tino – that will only help Gawronski.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.