Mendez leads Norwalk City Council candidates in fundraising

NORWALK - Norwalk Councilman Mike Mendez currently leads all Norwalk City Council candidates in fundraising, collecting more than $13,000 in contributions, according to campaign financial statements released from the city clerk's office last Thursday. Due to the city clerk's office on Jan. 24, the first set of campaign statements cover the period between Jan. 1-19, although some candidates chose to submit statements also listing contributions made during the last six months of 2012.

From July 1 through Jan. 19, Mendez received $13,170 in campaign donations mostly given by individuals living outside the city of Norwalk with the exception of a few local businesses.

Between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, Mendez collected $7,950 in contributions including his largest contribution, which came from fellow Councilman Luigi Vernola, a nonmonetary contribution of signs, t-shirts, and banners worth an estimated $2,300. From Jan. 1-19, Mendez garnered another $5,220 in contributions.

Mendez's other top contributors included Pioneer Cash and Carry, Inc. of Artesia ($2,000); Daniel J. McKenna III, owner of McKenna BMW ($1,000); Stanton-based CR&R Incorporated ($1,000); Nationwide Environmental ($1,000); and Irvine-based PCI, Inc. ($1,500).

Mendez also received a $100 donation from Cerritos College board member Bob Arthur. Mayor Cheri Kelley, on the other hand, reported just two contributions during the statement period covering Jan.1-19. John Bynum of John Bynum Realty donated $200 and a $100 from the 2011 campaign of Norwalk Councilman Marcel Rodarte. With $7,350 in cash on hand, Kelley has already spent nearly $2,465 on campaign materials thus far.

Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District Board President Darryl Adams collected a total of $5,814 from the beginning of 2012 through Jan. 19. In addition to a $1,500 loan Adams made to his campaign, the city council candidate also received $200 from Hector Gomez, owner of Protek Pave, $100 from NLMUSD teacher Richard Drake, $2,500 from Palmilla Mex, LLC, and $100 from NLMUSD administrator Francisco Ramirez.

Meanwhile, candidate Enrique Aranda garnered $4,340 in contributions, not including a $10,000 loan he made to his campaign.

From July 1 to Dec. 31, Aranda raised $2,915 followed by another $1,425 during the period between Jan. 1-19. The majority of his donations appeared to come from friends and local businesses.

Aranda's other contributors included Palmilla Mex, LLC ($2,000); Rendon for Assembly 2012 ($500); Alejo for Assembly 2012 ($250); District Attorney Mario Trujillo ($250); Carlos Vasquez, a broker with VCA Realty ($250); and Martin Rodriquez, manager at Bellflower Medical ($250).

Candidate Candy Martinez submitted a campaign statement, but had no contributions to report while candidate Bryan Mesinas Perez failed to report any statements.

On Jan. 31, all candidates must submit the semi-annual financial statements covering the period between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2012.