Alex Johnson has opened a substantial lead over George McKenna in campaign support from individual donors and groups that support his candidacy even as major backers from the education reform camp and labor unions who have given millions in previous years appear to be sitting this election out.
Despite finishing a distant second in the June 3 primary (winning 24 percent of the vote to McKenna’s 44 percent), Johnson has raised almost eight times what McKenna has in individual donations, nearly $48,000, to just under $6,500 for McKenna. Half of Johnson’s contributions are for the maximum $1,100.
Meanwhile, figures this morning from the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission show that Super PACs have spent more than $140,000 on behalf of Johnson — over $110,000 more than groups supporting McKenna. Super PACs are independent expenditure committees that must operate separately from a candidate’s campaign.
The Commission reports that the lion’s share of the money spent on behalf of Johnson — about $114,000 — comes from one organization, the African American Voter Registration, Education & Participation Project (AAVREP), a group founded in 2002 by LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Johnson works for him as an education advisor.
The Project says it’s the largest organized effort targeting African American and urban voters in California, registering more than 175,000 voters over the last 20 years. Its goal is to increase political participation among African American and urban voters.