Editor’s Note: This is the first of several stories on fundraising figures for the upcoming election.
Candidates for local elections continue to rake in impressive donation amounts as Election Day draws nearer.
The latest filing deadline for campaign contributions was Thursday, Sept. 29, and the latest numbers show some candidates more than doubling their donation amounts over their July numbers.
Council candidate Caroline Torosis added $28,881 to her war chest bringing the total to $65,160.
Jesse Zwick raised $26,157.87 this period bringing his total to $47,881.16.
Natalya Zernitskaya recorded a total of $31,069.45 and Lana Negrete (incumbent) brought in $28,506 to bring her total to $34,942.
Ellis Raskin tripled his total to $18,738.08, Albin Gielicz reported $8,375 and Armen Melkonians raised a total of $7,510.
Troy Harris loaned himself another $2,650.30 which brings the total value of his loans to $9,704.51.
Candidates Whitney Bain, Jonathan Louis Mann and Samantha Mota each did not record any contributions.
On the school board side, incumbents were taking a pronounced lead in fundraising.
Incumbent Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein added $39,379 to his campaign this period for a total of $53,378.94 and incumbent Laurie Lieberman added $23,416 to bring her total to $49,243.
Angela DiGaetano reported a total of $24,900 including a $1,000 loan making her the highest earning challenger.
Alicia Mignano reported an additional $12,181.50 to bring her total to $13,181.50.
Stacy Rouse raised $4,713 and Miles Warner raised a total of $17,600 including a $15,000 loan.
The other hopeful, Esther Hickman, had so far not reported any donations.
In the traditionally muted race for SMC Board, incumbent Nancy Greenstein reported the lowest total of $521.
Incumbent Sion Roy raised a total of $9,022 including a $5,000 loan and fellow incumbent Barry Snell raised $3,350 to bring his total to $5,850 including a $2,500 loan.
Challenger Tom Peters raised $8,900 including a $250 loan.
In this year’s midterm elections, three city council seats are up for grabs, with current Council Member Lana Negrete representing the only incumbent who chose to run to retain her position on the seven-member council, meaning there are two open seats after Mayor Sue Himmelrich and Mayor Pro Tem Kristin McCowan opted not to run for additional terms.
Incumbents hung up their hats on the school board side as well; of the four candidates up for re-election this year, two have opted not to run to retain their seats. Current Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education Members Craig Foster and Keith Coleman announced they would not be participating in the election this year, leaving Laurie Lieberman and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein running to retain their positions and two seats up for grabs.
Four individuals, including three incumbents have filed for the SMC race and while there will be an election for Rent Control Board, there are three candidates for three open seats so voters do not have any choice.
In the city council race, the Santa Monica Municipal Code limits total amounts one donor can give to one candidate, capping totals at $410. But with some council candidates receiving donations from more than 100 or even 200 individual donors, total contributions are in the mid-five digits for several council hopefuls.
Editor Matthew Hall contributed to this report.