Santa Barbara City Council candidate Cathy Murillo leads the pack of 14 possible candidates in campaign fundraising, having collected $24,500 by the first financial disclosure deadline. For Murillo, former news director at KCSB and a onetime Independent reporter, this filing infuses her campaign with increased credibility and diminishes the “fringe” candidate tag with which her detractors sought to saddle her.

By contrast, planning commissioner Deborah Schwartz — the presumed front-runner among the three candidates backed by the Democratic Party Central Committee — raised $20,000, and Iya Falcone, a two term councilmember seeking a third term after a two-year hiatus, raised only $3,500. Most of Murillo’s donations came in three-digit denominations from many of the usual suspects associated with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. She donated $5,000 to her campaign, as did her husband David Pritchett. Of the incumbents seeking reelection, only Randy Rowse filed a campaign disclosure report. Rowse said he’d raised $1,950. Neither Michael Self nor Dale Francisco — the other two incumbents — reported any donations.


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