Mendoza leads early in Senate fundraising

DOWNEY - With nearly $604,000 cash on hand, former Assemblyman Tony Mendoza of Artesia is getting a head start in fundraising -- a strategy that might come in handy ahead of a tight 2014 contest in the newly-drawn 32nd California Senate district. However, Mendoza isn't the only Democrat prepping for a long primary fight. Former Assembly members Sally Havice and Tom Calderon are also gearing up this summer -- launching committees and courting donors.

According to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office, Mendoza, Havice, and Calderon, who has not formally declared his candidacy, have already created eponymous committees to collect contributions.

Semi-annual financial statements filed last month reveal Mendoza's campaign committee, "Mendoza for Senate 2014," received $52,428 in contributions between the period of Jan. 1 to June 30 while "Tom Calderon for Senate 2014" garnered $8,500 from mostly health care groups based in Northern California.

While Mendoza received many small donations from business leaders and educators within the 32nd Senate district, his largest contributions have come from political action committees, corporations, and unions outside district boundaries.

Mendoza's supporters include: Sacramento-based Personal Insurance Federation Agents & Employees Small Contributor Committee ($1,000); Phillip Ramirez, a telecommunications broker of Rancho Cucamonga ($1,000); Buena Park-based UFCW Local 324 PAC ($4,100); Local 770 United Food and Commercial Workers Union Political Action Committee of Los Angeles ($4,100); Austin, Minn.-based Hormel Foods Corporation ($2,000); Friends of Mexican American Bar Association PAC of Whittier ($4,100); Democrats Reshaping America of Washington, DC ($1,500); and Sacramento-based CA Nurses Association PAC, which has already given $12,000 towards Mendoza's primary and general campaign.

Financial reports also show that Mendoza's 2014 committee made a $66,000 loan to his failed campaign for Central Basin Water District last November. The loan has not been paid back yet.

Elected to the 56th Assembly district in 2006, Mendoza served three consecutive terms in the state Assembly until he was termed out in 2012. Prior to his career in Sacramento, Mendoza served three terms on the Artesia City Council, where he became the youngest mayor at age 26.

Calderon, a member of the California political dynasty, which includes his two brothers, Ron and Charles, also served in the state legislature, elected to represent the 58th Assembly district in 2000.

So far this year, Calderon has received contributions from: Blue Shield of California ($2,000); CA Hospital Association PAC ($1,000); Education Management LLC ($1,000); Houston, Texas-based Phillips 66 Company ($1,500); and Union of American Physicians & Dentist Medical Defense Fund of Oakland ($1,000).

Calderon also accepted a $2,000 loan in January from a Montebello-based corporation called the Calderon Group, Inc.

Havice, who won a seat representing the 56th Assembly district in 2000, is now a professor of English at Cerritos College. However, Havice, the only female in the race, has launched "Havice for Senate 2014" and held her first campaign fundraiser last weekend in Bellflower.

Noel A. Jaimes, the Republican candidate who ran for the 57th Assembly district in 2012 and lost, has yet to announce any contributions given to his 2014 campaign for the 32nd district, but the La Mirada resident has created a committee.

Republican candidate Mario Guerra and Democratic candidate Kevin Perez-Allen have yet to form campaign committees, but have began fundraising.

The first official campaign finance reporting deadline is Jan. 31, 2014. These financial reports will include the contributions received and expenditures paid by each candidate between the period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2013.

On June 3, 2014, the two top vote-getters in the primary will face off in the general election on Nov. 4, 2014.

The newly-drawn 32nd Senate district incorporates the communities of Artesia, Bellflower, Buena Park, Cerritos, Commerce, Downey, Hacienda Heights, Hawaiian Gardens, La Habra Heights, La Mirada, Lakewood, Los Nietos, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Rose Hills, Santa Fe Springs and South Whittier.

********** Published: Aug. 8, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 17