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5 Mayoral Candidates Exceed $100,000 in the Race for Cash

March 24, 1994|EMILY ADAMS and DUKE HELFAND

Five Long Beach mayoral candidates had raised more than $100,000 each for their campaigns by late last month, and a sixth contender was nearing that figure, according to campaign disclosure documents.

Challenger Frank Colonna led the pack in fund-raising and spending. He had raised $199,907 and spent $121,984 through Feb. 26, the end of the last reporting period.

Other candidates who had raised more than $100,000 were Mayor Ernie Kell, Jeffrey Kellogg, Beverly O'Neill and Don Westerland. Ray Grabinski had raised $98,599.

The other seven candidates are operating on a shoestring, or with no campaign budget at all. Lee Chauser said he has spent less than $100, and Dan Rosenberg has vowed not to accept or spend money.

The modestly funded candidates refer to themselves as "The Long Beach 7," and complain they haven't received as much attention as the six adversaries with larger war chests. "If money is such a big issue, why don't we pick the person who has the most and skip the election?" asked challenger G. Juan Johnson, who expects to spend less than $1,000.

Johnson has filed a lawsuit seeking damages against the Long Beach Junior Chamber of Commerce, which invited six candidates considered the front-runners to a forum.

The president of the organization, Joe Ponepinto, declined comment because of the pending lawsuit.

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