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City Hall incumbents raise big bucks for reelection bids

August 1, 2008 |  9:35 am

The_halls_of_powerand_money It was only two years ago that voters passed Proposition R, the measure that loosened back term limits for the Los Angeles City Council. Suddenly the same council members who were ushered into office by term limits in 2001 got a chance at a third four-year term.

Voters saw the fruits of their labor this week, as all the council members who have a shot at a third term turned in their contribution reports. Out of the eight open council seats that are up for grabs in 2009, seven involved incumbents who raised so much money that any challenger will face a steep uphill battle in the March election.

Powered by nearly eight years of incumbency, Councilwoman Janice Hahn collected about $68,000. Councilman Ed Reyes? More than $75,000. And the numbers only get bigger.

Councilman Dennis Zine, who serves part of the San Fernando Valley, raised more than $107,000. Councilman Bill Rosendahl took in $183,000. Councilwoman Jan Perry raised more than $216,000. And Council President Eric Garcetti collected more than $292,000. We should quickly point out -- these last four don't even have opponents!

By comparison, the one vacant seat on the Westside, where Councilman Jack Weiss has decided to pursue other political opportunities, is turning into a bit of a free-for-all. Four well-funded candidates have raised $70,000 or more. Two more are lagging, but either way, it's a true race.

The one mystery? Councilman Richard Alarcon. No money at all! He must be a late riser.

-- David Zahniser

Photo: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times