There were billboards, paid “volunteer” precinct walkers, robo calls, catered meals and mailers. And more mailers. All these things added up and made for costly campaigns to elect new representatives for Council District 1 (Cypress Park, Highland Park, Lincoln Heights and Mt Washington) and Council District 13 (Atwater, Echo Park, Silver Lake and East Hollywood). More than $4 million was spent in support of the four candidates who competed in the run off election. That figure can still rise higher as final expense reports are filed.
Those whose campaigns attracted the most cash, however, did not always win. In Council District 13, John Choi, whose campaign attracted more than $1.5 million in contributions and independent expenditures, lost to Mitch O’Farrell, who chalked up less than half that amount. Meanwhile, in Council District 1, the $1.6 million backed the winning campaign of Gil Cedillo. In contrast, only about $714,000 was pumped into the campaign of rival candidate Jose Gardea.
Despite all that spending, the polling booths were hardly mobbed. In fact, only about 19% of registered voters citywide bothered to mail in or cast their ballots in person.
Here’s how much each of the Council District 1 and Council District 13 finalists spent on every vote they won:
Source: Most recent figures from City Clerk and City Ethics Commission.