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The source of campaign money recently given to Marty Block may come to Democrats as a bit of a surprise. Block is the San Diego community college board president running in the Democratic primary to replace termed-out GOP assemblywoman Shirley Horton in the 78th District. The usual array of wealthy Democrats — including retired publisher Lowell Blankfort, who owned the once famously liberal Chula Vista Star News; and La Jolla’s Alan Viterbi, son of Qualcomm cofounder Andrew Viterbi — have kicked in the requisite low-four-figure amounts. But a famous local Republican donor has trumped them all. Poway-based contractor Douglas E. Barnhart anted up $3600 on March 13. Just by coincidence, no doubt, Barnhart — who last year gave $2300 each to presidential candidates GOP congressman Duncan Hunter and ex–New York mayor Rudy Giuliani — is a contractor for the college district. This past December, his firm began work on a $22.3 million parking garage at Mesa College.

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