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Pavley leads campaign spending

Democratic state Senate candidate has spent more than $2 million; Wilk leads Assembly hopefuls

Posted: October 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 28, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Of the eight state candidates who are vying to represent parts of the Santa Clarita Valley in the state Legislature, none has raised or spent more than Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Santa Monica, who is running for re-election to the redrawn 27th State Senate District.

As of Thursday, Pavley had spent $2,126,773 on her campaign, according to documents on file with the California secretary of state’s office. In comparison, the six other local state Senate or Assembly candidates who have financial information on record with the secretary of state have spent a combined $2,149,751.

District District description   Party Amount raised Amount spent
27th Senate West Santa Clarita Valley Fran Pavley D $1,907,404.59 $2,126,773.52
Todd Zink R $1,362,723.56 $1,307,013.90
21st Senate Central and eastern Santa Clarita Valley Star Moffatt D Unknown Unknown
Steve Knight R $234,394.69 $158,225.00
38th Assembly Most of the Santa Clarita Valley Edward Headington D $105,394.91 $78,794.38
Scott Wilk R $303,273.22 $273,941.40
36th Assembly North Saugus and part of Canyon Country Steve Fox D $98,619.00 $94,622.00
Ron Smith R $264,780.78 $237,156.60

Pavley is also the only local legislative candidate who has not accepted the Proposition 34 voluntary spending limits on her campaign.

Those limits, set in 2001, vary depending on the office a candidate is running for, but a state Senate candidate can spend up to $1,949,000 during an election cycle.

Candidates who accept the voluntary spending limits gain certain advantages, including their names listed as participants in the ballot pamphlet, but must meet certain public disclosure requirements.

Pavley, a longtime Democratic state legislator and former Assembly member, saw her mostly westside Los Angeles County Senate district shift northward during redistricting into a decidedly more conservative area. The district takes in the western Santa Clarita Valley, most of it previously represented by Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican running for Congress.

Pavley came in second during the June primary behind a political novice, Republican Todd Zink. Since then she has campaigned hard to win over voters new to her in the redrawn district.

Of the other candidates in state legislative districts that take in the Santa Clarita Valley, Zink is the closest to Pavley in terms of campaign spending.

According to the secretary of state’s office, he has spent $1,307,013 on his campaign, $1 million more than the next biggest spender.

Parke Skelton, a spokeswoman for Pavley’s campaign, said a primary reason for Pavley’s high spending is the amount of corporate money being funneled into Zink’s campaign.

Zink’s office did not return calls for comment over the last week.

Pavley is the only Democratic candidate for state or local office in the Santa Clarita Valley who has raised or spent more than a Republican opponent.

Assembly races

In the 38th Assembly District race, Republican Scott Wilk has spent more than three times as much as Democratic challenger Edward Headington as of Thursday. Wilk has also received almost three times as much in campaign contributions.

The situation is much the same in the 36th Assembly District race, where Republican Ron Smith has spent and raised more than twice the amount of his Democratic opponent, Steve Fox. Fox’s financial information has not been updated since Oct. 9.

The redrawn 38th Assembly District takes in most of the Santa Clarita Valley. The 36th district has a slice of Canyon Country and northern Saugus.

Wilk said he anticipates spending to ramp up substantially as the election draws to a close, as it did in the open primary, when he spent about $100,000 in the last 10 days of the campaign.

For Wilk, the reason for the fundraising disparity between himself and his opponent is clear.

“People are willing to invest in good government,” Wilk said. “That’s what I plan to bring.”

Headington said he thinks his campaign’s “ground game” more than makes up for the funding disparity.

“I’ve got multiple blisters on both feet,” Headington said, laughing. “You can spend so much money on TV ads or a great mail piece, but I think it really comes down to how many doors you have personally knocked on.”

21st Senate race

It is unclear what the financial differences are in the 21st state Senate District campaign between Democrat Star Moffatt and Assemblyman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, as Moffatt is the only local candidate whose financial documentation is not on file with the secretary of state’s office.

Jeffrey Moffatt, Star Moffatt’s attorney and campaign manager, blamed the missing information on a clerical error by the secretary of state and estimated the campaign had spent close to $100,000 as of Oct. 20. Knight’s campaign expenditures total $158,225 as of Thursday.

Jeffrey Moffatt said some major campaign expenditures have included billboards, fliers and vehicle costs.

He said the campaign had also spent money to commission an R&B song titled “We Gonna Win,” performed by singer Michael Speaks.

The 21st Senate District takes in the central and eastern Santa Clarita Valley. Predecessors representing the area in the Senate included Sharon Runner and George Runner, both Republican and both of whom endorsed Knight for the position.

All financial figures are current as of Thursday.



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