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Mayoral race leaves Greuel with more than $680,000 in campaign debt

The long and expensive race for Los Angeles mayor left former candidate Wendy Greuel with more than $680,000 in unpaid campaign bills, according to fundraising reports filed this week.

August 01, 2013|By David Zahniser
  • Wendy Greuel answers questions in Studio City on election day, May 21. Fundraising reports show her with more than $680,000 in unpaid campaign bills from her unsuccessful run for Los Angeles mayor.
Wendy Greuel answers questions in Studio City on election day, May 21. Fundraising… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

The long and expensive race for Los Angeles mayor left former candidate Wendy Greuel with more than $680,000 in unpaid campaign bills, according to fundraising reports filed this week.

The reports, which covered the fundraising period through June 30, showed the Greuel campaign incurred $518,000 in outstanding debt in the final weeks before the May 21 runoff election, which she lost to Eric Garcetti. She also had $162,000 in unpaid bills left over from the March 5 primary campaign.

Those debts could complicate any effort by Greuel to launch another bid for public office. Greuel recently told The Times that supporters have been encouraging her to run for the seat being vacated next year by Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, or for state controller.

Greuel, who spent more than a decade at City Hall, first as a councilwoman and then as city controller, could not be reached for comment. Her lawyer, Stephen Kaufman, said in an email that Greuel "is continuing to work on retiring her debt."

Much of Greuel's debt is owed to Simi Valley-based Patricia Duchene, who printed literature for the campaign, and to the consulting firm headed by her political strategist, John Shallman. In addition, Greuel forgave a $100,000 personal loan that she provided to her campaign in the final weeks before the runoff, according to her reports.

Garcetti reported nearly $96,000 in outstanding debts from both the primary and the runoff. Bill Carrick, Garcetti's political consultant, said the mayor has raised most of the money to pay off those debts.

Greuel signaled the possibility of a supervisorial run last month. Since then, former state Sen. Sheila Kuehl, who is already running for Yaroslavsky's seat, sent a fundraising pitch to supporters Monday that alluded to the possibility of a more crowded race.

"As you may have heard, there are several names being thrown around in the press of potential challengers for this seat," Kuehl wrote. "It is vital that I have a strong enough financial showing to hopefully 'encourage' these folks to stay out."

david.zahniser@latimes.com

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