Councilwoman Paula Devine came out of the June election with the biggest war chest: $85,475.
But most of that haul, which she reported this week in final campaign contribution documents, came from her own pocket. Devine lent herself $52,500.
Devine culled a total of 6,614 votes during the election, or 33%, to win the sole council seat open during the special election for a 10-month term. Devine has said she plans to run again for a full four-year term in the upcoming April 2015 election.
Brittany Levine Signature
- Political Fundraising
She stepped into a short term as she replaced an appointed councilman, Frank Quintero, who filled in for ex-Councilman Rafi Manoukian, who stepped down from his seat early to take on a new role as city treasurer.
Devine's campaign fundraising this year is similar to the election cash collected by two winners of the April 2013 election: Councilman Ara Najarian and Mayor Zareh Sinanyan, who raised a total of $84,274 and $93,193, respectively. Both won four-year terms.
The runner-up in the last election, Vartan Gharpetian, who garnered 4,312 votes, or 22%, came in with a final campaign contribution total of $44,803. He lent himself $4,000. Although due this week, the fundraising reports only contain contributions through June 30.
"I raised enough money to run my campaign. That was my plan," he said, adding that he didn't want to collect a larger war chest because the council term was so short.
But, he said, when he runs again in April, he expects to raise more money.
He added that he's not against candidates lending themselves cash, because it shows you are willing to invest in yourself and put your own money on the line.
"If you don't invest in yourself, people won't believe in you," he said.
All of the five candidates who ran in June gave themselves money or received loans from a family member. Chahe Keuroghelian, who raised $14,700, contributed $4,100 to his campaign, he said. Mike Mohill, who collected $13,399.85, received a $6,500 loan from his wife, according to his contribution reports. Rick Barnes, who ended the race with $58,279.15, lent himself $37,100, his reports show.
Barnes also benefited from a roughly $43,000 independent expenditure by the National Assn. of Realtors. The trade association spent more than $50,000 on his campaign during his unsuccessful run in April 2013. While other candidates said they wouldn't accept independent expenditures on the campaign trail, Barnes made no such promise.
This year, Barnes came in third, followed by Keuroghelian and Mohill.
Keuroghelian said despite raising less money than other candidates, he was able to spend the least amount per vote during his campaign. Indeed, if one compared the candidate's campaign haul with their vote tally, Keuroghelian spent $5.26 per vote — he received 2,793 of them — compared to Devine's $12.92 per vote. Barnes spent the most per vote, $13.97. Including the National Assn. of Realtor's independent expenditure bumps his per-vote cost to $24.29.
Devine could not be reached for comment.