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Bonin and Anderson Score Big Fundraising Leads for March 5 L.A. Primary Election

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By Paul Chavez, Venice Dispatch

Los Angeles City Council candidate Mike Bonin, who is running for the 11th Council District that includes Venice, reported campaign contributions that dwarfed his competitors in the upcoming citywide primary election, according to campaign data released Thursday.

Bonin reported receiving $177,966 in campaign contributions in the quarterly filing period from Oct. 1, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2012, and reported cash on hand of $249,264 at the end of the period, according to an electronic filing with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission.┬áBonin’s campaign received nearly six times more in contributions than the second-ranking candidate, Westchester teacher Odysseus Bostick, who reported raising $30,211 during the three-month period. Community advocate Frederick Sutton reported raising $29,885, and city prosecutor Tina Hess listed contributions of $2,500 during the same period.

In the two-person race for a seat on the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Board of Education that represents Venice schools, challenger Kate Anderson jumped out to a significant fundraising lead with contributions of $113,050 (including a self loan of $25,000) and cash on hand of $104,835 at the end of the reporting period. Incumbent school board member Steve Zimmer reported contributions of $27,688 and cash on hand of $15,588 during the same period.

Voters citywide will cast ballots in the March 5 primary election for mayor, city attorney, city controller, eight of the 15 seats on the city council and three positions on the seven-member education board.

The winner of the contest for the 11th Council District seat will replace incumbent City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has represented the district since 2005. Rosendahl announced in October that he would not be seeking re-election in order to focus on his battle with cancer. Rosendahl, 67, said he will retire June 30 at the end of his term and plans to return to national public affairs television.

Rosendahl endorsed Bonin, his longtime chief of staff, to replace him on the council and Bonin’s campaign hit the ground quickly and started amassing endorsements and campaign contributions.

Candidates for citywide office had a deadline of midnight Thursday to file their quarterly reports.

Bonin received financial support from a wide range of Venice contributors, including: The Terrace Restaurant; Wesley Kim, owner of Coldstone Ice Cream & Creamery; store owner Carol Tantau; jazz venue The RG Club; medical marijuana group The Compassion Networks; Venice Beach Suites; the Venice Whaler bar and restaurant; yoga and spinning gym YAS; film/tv producer Dan Abrams; Cafe Gratitude on Rose Avenue; artist Stash Maleski, and Hollywood-focused online video provider ZEFR.

Bonin also received financial contributions from Rosendahl; former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, who is now a photographer; former Rep. Jan Harman, who Bonin served as district director, and Steve Soboroff, Bonin’s campaign co-chair and past CEO of the Playa Vista planned community and a principle behind the project to bring the Space Shuttle Endeavour to Los Angeles.

The election for the LAUSD Board of Education’s sprawling 4th District features Anderson, a member of the Mar Vista Community Council and mother of two daughters at Mar Vista Elementary School, against Zimmer, who was elected to the board in 2009 after 17 years as a teacher and counselor at Marshall High School.

Zimmer has been endorsed by teachers’ union United Teachers Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party and the SEIU Education Workers United Local 99. Anderson has been endorsed by Rosendahl and the Coalition for School Reform.

The March 5 primary election will be followed by a May 21 runoff general election.

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