Benavides Leads in Fundraising for Mayoral Campaign

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Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido (right) and Councilman David Benavides at a recent debate moderated by the League of Women Voters. (Photo by: Adam Elmahrek)

Santa Ana mayoral candidate David Benavides, the most competitive challenger to longtime incumbent Mayor Miguel Pulido in recent memory, raised more than twice as much campaign cash than Pulido through the end of September, according to the most recent campaign finance disclosure forms.

The disclosure forms, however, do not reflect Pulido’s most recent fundraiser held last Thursday, which drew high-profile supporters, including Frank Barbaro, chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party, and tech-boom billionaire Henry Nicholas, according to Dan Chmielewski of The Liberal OC, who attended the event. 

Benavides raised $46,624.95 from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, according to his campaign finance disclosure forms. He reported having $36,999.81 cash on hand.

Pulido raised $19,949 during the same period, not including $3,178 left over from his 2010 mayoral campaign. He reported having $19,280.50 cash on hand.

Both candidates are far behind fundraising for the 2010 mayoral race. At the end of the same period that year, challenger Alfredo Amezcua had raised $136,922.99, with $110,000 of that total being loans to himself. Pulido had raised $64,067.

Other mayoral candidates, including Miguel Briseno, Roy Alvarado, Lupe Moreno and George Collins, had not filed disclosure forms as of Monday afternoon.

In the City Council race, Ward 1 incumbent Vincent Sarmiento reported having $62,053.92 cash on hand. He raised $15,562 this year.

Most of Sarmiento's cash was raised last year when he was considering a bid for the 69th Assembly seat. At that time he had loaned himself $50,000 and had also raised more than $30,000, according to The Orange County Register. He decided instead to run for re-election to his council seat.

Eric Alderete, who is running to replace Councilman Carlos Bustamante in Ward 3, reported raising $72,962.99 this year and having $55,877.70 cash on hand.

Ward 3 candidate Charles Hart reported raising $5,825 and having $310.24 cash on hand. He reported loaning himself $3,500 and repaying $3,000 of that debt.

Roman Reyna, who is running in Ward 5, reported raising $11,804.50 this year and having $2,825.59 cash on hand. He reported loaning himself $3,000.

Other council candidates, including candidate Karina Onofre in Ward 5, Brett Franklin and Stefano “Steve” Rocco in Ward 3 and Estela Amezcua in Ward 1, had not filed disclosure forms by Monday afternoon.

— ADAM ELMAHREK

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