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Council campaign funds pour in

Posted: March 29, 2008 2:04 a.m.
Updated: May 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Laurie Ender.

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March was a month of money for the five Santa Clarita City Council candidates, as each one raised more campaign funds in the last month than in January and February combined, according to campaign disclosure forms released Friday.

In the last reporting period before the April 8 election, candidate Bob Spierer took the lead. From Feb. 24 to March 22, he raised nearly $24,000 in monetary contributions. As of March 22, the former Santa Clarita sheriff's captain also had the heftiest cash balance, coming in at about $48,000.

"I think we're in good shape," Spierer said Friday. "We are close to what we needed to raise, but we've been spending more than we intended to."

Spierer wouldn't reveal his target amount but said he just wanted to raise enough money to pay all the bills.

Mayor Bob Kellar, the only incumbent in the race for two council seats, came in second in the March money race with almost $18,000. But he has raised far more than any other candidate since Jan. 1, bringing in about $73,000 in three months. Kellar's amended form filed Friday disclosed his cash balance was about $24,000.

Kellar did not return phone calls from The Signal on Friday.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Laurie Ender raised nearly $13,000 in March and is hoping to raise an additional $5,000 to $10,000 by the election.

"I'm a little bit short of my goal, but I'm almost there, so I feel pretty confident that I'm going to hit it," Ender said Friday.

But being a little short on cash doesn't affect the campaign, she said.

"The human resources in this campaign are just as valuable as the financial resources," she said. "We'll see a lot of campaign people working and walking and calling over the next 11 days."

Maria Gutzeit, who serves on the Newhall County Water District Board of Directors, raised nearly $7,000 during the latest reporting period and has a cash balance of about $22,000.

"We got everything we needed to get done. We had our plan and we met our goals," she said. "I'm trying to have some face time with the voters now."

Among Gutzeit's donations was $360 from G & L Realty Partnership LP, a Beverly Hills-based real estate company that owns a small percentage of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital campus and has a vested interest in the hospital's expansion project.

However, Gutzeit said she has also received contributions from environmentalists and others who have been critical of the expansion plans.

"I feel that my donors have been really balanced," she said. "People shouldn't be concerned with where I'm getting the money because it is coming from a lot of different interests."

Planning Commissioner Diane Trautman raised a little more than $5,000 in March and has a cash balance of $27,000.

"We are using cost-saving measures and able to produce competitive material," she said. "There's not much more that we need at this point.

"We're feeling very competitive."

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