Bolstered by substantial contributions from his personal savings, Diamond Bar City Councilman Paul Horcher has amassed a war chest more than 10 times greater than his opponent's in the 52nd Assembly District race.
Campaign disclosure statements filed last week with the Los Angeles County registrar of voters show that Horcher, considered the favorite in the heavily Republican district, has loaned himself $237,421 and raised $104,998 since the campaign began. When non-monetary contributions are included, his total is $342,794.
Democrat Gary Neely, a Diamond Bar marketing consultant, has raised $22,586, none of it his own money.
The disparity has become a dominant campaign issue in the 52nd District, which stretches from La Mirada and Whittier across the Puente Hills to take in Hacienda Heights, Rowland Heights, Diamond Bar, Walnut and part of West Covina.
Neely has publicly criticized Horcher, an attorney, for amassing so much money, much of it out of his own pocket. Meanwhile, Horcher has implied that Neely's modest war chest indicates that he is not committed to the race.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday October 16, 1990 Valley Edition Metro Part B Page 4 Column 2 Zones Desk 1 inches; 16 words Type of Material: Correction
Chess master--The first name of world champion chess player Garry Kasparov was misspelled in an article Monday.
"My opponent ended up mortgaging his house," Neely said last week at a candidates forum in La Habra. "That is something we have to stop. It's no longer the best man who rules, it's the one with the most money."
Horcher replied: "It's the man or woman with the most courage to put your life savings on the line." He said that on Oct. 4, he took out a $20,000 second mortgage on his home. The rest of the $237,421, he said, was from his personal savings.
The Assembly race, Horcher said Wednesday, has been "appallingly expensive, very expensive." But he insisted that such big spending is essential to win.
Much of the $342,794 raised to date was spent by Horcher during a contentious primary in which he ran against seven other Republicans. He spent $288,717 before the June 5 primary, compared to $89,719 since.
Horcher's main expenditures have been for rent on his Whittier campaign office and for salaries for consultants and a professional fund-raiser.
Horcher is paying campaign consultant Harvey Englander $5,000 a month, and is paying two other consultants, Dan Kramer and Robert Kiley, $2,500 a month and $4,000 a month respectively. Anne Hyde Co. Inc. in Glendale, Horcher's fund-raising arm, has been paid $6,450 since the primary.
Neely's campaign staff, meanwhile, is all volunteer. Most of his spending has been for mailing costs and for printing flyers and signs.
* POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Pasadena Director John Crowley won't seek reelection in March. J10