San Diego’s third district councilman Todd Gloria, who ran unopposed in this month’s city election, nevertheless went all out to collect big campaign money from a host of special interests with business at city hall.
From the first of this year through the end of May, the Hillcrest Democrat picked up $51,033 in contributions. Much of the cash came in to the Gloria campaign coffers after the city’s March 8 candidate filing deadline, when it became virtually certain that Gloria would easily hold on to his seat. Money in that category came from such wired-in donors as Ace Parking’s Keith Jones, a backer of ex–GOP independent mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher; La Jolla attorney and lobbyist Matthew Peterson; Temecula resident Ginger Hitzke, president of San Marcos–based Hitzke Development; Constance Ziegaus of lobbyist Southwest Strategies; developer Perry Dealy, a close associate of U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester; Kilroy Realty’s Steve Scott; lobbyist Craig Benedetto of California Strategies; Yunmi Martin of Irvine Apartment Communities, Rancho Santa Margarita; and downtown builder Morgan D. Oliver, who was joined by five associates of his OliverMcMillan Company, as well as assorted spouses and friends. (Hillary Crowe of Waipahu, Hawaii, who gave the maximum $500 on May 30, was listed as the firm’s “chief culture officer.”)
The incumbent councilman put the funds to a variety of uses. Besides paying for election-night catering, the campaign paid $10,000 to the Gemini Group, the campaign-consulting outfit run by Jennifer Tierney, which also handled District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’s failed mayoral bid. In addition, Gloria gave $9500 to the San Diego County Democratic Party. But he is hardly out of money. As of May 31, the reelection committee of the councilman, barred by law from seeking another term, still had $87,451.90 of cash on hand, with only $4592 in outstanding debt.