Hahn Campaign Raises $1.3 Million

By Patrick McGreevy and Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writers

Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn reported Thursday that, more than a year before the March 2005 vote, his reelection campaign has raised $1.3 million â€" an amount that his supporters hope will scare away any potential challengers.

The total, which includes $871,000 raised in the last six months, puts Hahn well ahead of his fundraising pace for the 2001 election, when, at an equivalent point, he had raised $638,000.

Hahn ended up raising $3.7 million in the 2001 primary and another $2 million in the runoff. He defeated Antonio Villaraigosa, who raised a combined $5.9 million.

Bill Wardlaw, a political advisor to the mayor, said Thursday that the size of the campaign fund should cause others to think twice before challenging Hahn next year.

"What it shows is, the mayor has significant support throughout the city and he is going to be mayor for the next five years," Wardlaw said.

Hahn's only declared challenger, attorney Walter Moore, has raised a little more than $1,000, and has criticized Hahn for taking money from city contractors and commissioners. "It suggests a quid pro quo for the millions of dollars he gives out in contracts," Moore said.

Larry Berg, retired director of the Jesse Unruh Institute of Politics at USC, said Hahn's early fundraising is not insurmountable for potential challengers, but should nudge would-be candidates to enter the race soon."I would think anybody who is thinking about running better start raising money pretty quickly," Berg said.

City Councilman Bernard C. Parks and former Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg, who are said to be seriously considering challenges, declined to comment.

Contributors in the latest report included executives of airport contractors Tutor-Saliba, Fleishman Hillard and Landrum & Brown Inc.

City commissioners who contributed include Airport Commission President Ted Stein, Public Works Board member Ellen Stein and Department of Water and Power Commissioner Dominick Rubalcava.

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