Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Page 1


Contest Between Meyer and Groman Tops Record for Most Expensive


By Kenneth Ofgang, Staff Writer


The contest for the Los Angeles Superior Court seat being vacated by Judge James Wright is the most expensive in the history of the court, campaign records show.

Deputy District Attorney Judith L. Meyer loaned her campaign $20,000 and raised another $2,585 in contributions between Oct. 1 and Oct. 16, bringing her total fundraising to $306,663—including more than $100,000 in loans from the candidate—and her expenditures to $277,030. 

Her opponent, Superior Court Commissioner Donna Groman, more than kept pace, loaning her campaign $30,000 and raising $2,625 in donations during the 16-day period.

Groman has raised $199,298, including loans from the candidate of $93,500, and spent $180,785. Meyer’s total appears to be the highest ever of any candidate for the court, and the total raised by Groman and Meyer is the highest by two candidates for the same seat.

When the relatively small amounts raised by three candidates who were eliminated in the primary are added in, the total for the contest is also a record.

The most expensive race previously was for an open seat decided in the 1994 general election. The winner, Terry Friedman raised $262,954, his runoff opponent,  John Moriarity $234,097, and Robert Schirn, who was eliminated in the primary, $12,900.

Reports for the period ending Oct. 16 were due last Thursday and are the last detailed reports that must be filed before the election, although individual donations of more than $1,000 must be reported within 24 hours of receipt up until Monday. Detailed post-election reports are due when a candidate closes his or her account, or by Jan. 31 if the account is still active at the end of the year.

In other races on the Nov. 2 ballot—there are five in total—Superior Court Referee Mildred Escobedo became the fifth runoff candidate, after Meyer, Groman, Referee Daniel Zeke Zeidler, and Deputy Attorney General Gus Gomez, to top the $100,000 mark in fundraising and spending.

Escobedo raised $18,461 during the 16-day reporting period, bringing her total to $115,504. She spent more than $30,000, bringing her total to $100,939.

A report for her opponent, Deputy District Attorney Patrick David Campbell, could not be located. Campbell told the MetNews his treasurer filed the report and had a stamped copy, and that he had raised about $9,000 and spent about $5,000 during the reporting period

Campbell had previously raised $89,191 and spent $72,575.

Campbell and Escobedo are seeking the seat of Judge Marcus Tucker, who did not run for re-election.

In the contest to succeed Judge Rosemary Shumsky, who is retiring in December, Zeidler reported raising over $5,000 and spending over $25,000 in the most recent period. That brings his total fundraising to $293,784, apparently more than any candidate ever except for Meyer, and his spending to $261,410.

His opponent, Deputy District Attorney David Lopez, reported taking in over $8,200, much of it in in-kind contributions, and spending about $1,200. He has now raised $34,276 and spent $27,794.

Gomez raised close to $12,000 in the last reporting period, spending less than $700 in his bid for the seat of Judge Richard Hubbell, who is not running for another term. He has now raised $151,857 and spent $129,905.

His opponent, Deputy District Attorney Lori Jones, reported a stepped-up effort that included a $19,000 loan from the candidate. She has now raised $58,759 and spent $30,972.

Deputy District Attorney Laura Priver continues to outraise and outspend Workers’ Compensation Judge John Gutierrez in the contest to succeed Judge Nancy Brown, who retired in January. Priver raised $66,958 and spent 64,416, while Gutierrez was at a slight deficit with $52,761 in contributions and loans as compared to expenditures of $54,578.


Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company