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Encinitas candidates enter final campaign stretch with thousands to spend

ENCINITAS — As the campaign for Encinitas City Council enters the final 50 days, the candidates for mayor and council have thousands of dollars at their disposal.

With a couple of exceptions.

Encinitas mayoral candidate John Paul Elliot, with running mate Coco, has filed paperwork setting tight limits on his campaign spending. Photo by Aaron Burgin

Five of the six candidates reported at least more than $6,000 cash on hand after the first half of the year.

The candidate with the most? District 4 candidate Tony Brandenburg, who reported Aug. 13 that he loaned his campaign $20,000 shortly after qualifying for the ballot.

His opponent, appointed incumbent Joe Mosca, raised $10,351 and spent about $3,890, leaving him $6,450 on hand heading into the fall. Of his 45 contributors, 31 are from Encinitas, including Surfing Madonna Oceans Project Executive Director Bob Nichols.

Mayor Catherine Blakespear, who has proven to be a prolific fundraiser in previous election cycles, entered the second half of the year with $11,231.17 on hand after raising $7,119 during the first six months of the year and spending $2,845. She came into 2018 with nearly $7,000 cash on hand.

Twenty-one of the 39 donors contributed the maximum under Encinitas law, $250, and 26 of them were from Encinitas.

Her opponent, John Paul Elliott, has signed a campaign finance form indicating he doesn’t plan on spending or receiving more than $2,000 during the campaign.

In District 3, incumbent Mark Muir didn’t report any fundraising activity during the first half of the year, but historically waits until the second half of the election year to ramp up fundraising activities.

His opponent, Jody Hubbard, has $9,496.38 on hand after raising $7,234.75, loaning herself $5,000 and spending $2,738.37 during the first half of the year. Twenty of her 29 reported donors are from Encinitas, including former City Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer.

The next campaign finance filing deadline, which covers activities between July 1 and Sept. 22, is Sept. 27.