The winners of La Mesa City Council race won’t be known for another few weeks, but candidates Shannon O'Dunn and Kristine Alessio lead in donations, though O'Dunn is ahead because she's donated thousands to her own campaign.
According to campaign finance disclosures filed by Oct. 5, O'Dunn, who owns O'Dunn Fine Art Gallery in the Village, has also assembled the most donors, with 21.
To date, the amount of monetary campaign contributions is as follows:
- Shannon O'Dunn — $10,770
- Kristine Alessio — $8,150
- Ruth Sterling — $5,800
- Patrick Dean — $3,323
- Laura Lothian — $2,415
Of the 21 contributions to O'Dunn's campaign, $8,000 came from her own pocket. Other notable contributors to her campaign effort were La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid ($100) and La Mesa Chamber CEO Mary England ($100), who is herself in the midst of a campaign for the newly formed 79th Assembly District.
England also donated $100 to incumbent Ruth Sterling's campaign. Sterling, however, has only two monetary donors totalling $600. The rest of her contributions are coming from herself—classified as a loan for $5,200.
Aside from O'Dunn's self-contribution, Alessio received the single-biggest donation of the candiate—$5,000 from her husband, Steven. She also received $100 from Helix Water District board candidate Charles Muse. Listed in her campaign filings was a $1,000 donation to the campaign of Bill Baber for La Mesa-Spring Valley School District board.
Lothian filed $2,221.84 worth of nonmonetary donations, mainly printed materials, and items used in a campaign kickoff party, all of which were paid for by Lothian herself. The majority of Lothian's seven contributors were fellow realtors.
Patrick Dean received the largest donation from a political party organization, $300 from the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club. Of his nine total contributors, he also received a $100 donation from notable East County politician and activist Ray Lutz, who lost the race for the 52nd Congressional District to Duncan Hunter in 2010.
In total, the five candidates have raised some $30,000 and have spent roughly $28,795, or almost 96 percent of their contributions.