Board campaign budgets vary widely

October 31, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly,
  • Candidates, from left, Dan Jeffries, Kevork Kurdoghlian, David Sagal, Ian Mirisola, Karyn Riel, Kaitzer Puglia, Jennifer Rubendall, and Joel Peterson at a candidates forum for the La Canada Unified School District board at La Canada High School on Tuesday, October 1, 2013. There are 8 candidates running for 3 open seats.
Candidates, from left, Dan Jeffries, Kevork Kurdoghlian,… (Tim Berger / Staff…)

This post was updated with correct information.

The ballot for the Nov. 5 La Cañada Unified school board election is crowded: Eight candidates are vying for three open seats, with some of the candidates choosing to run their campaigns on shoestring budgets.

David Sagal, an attorney and executive for Warner Bros., leads the race in campaign contributions. He received $13,763 as of Oct. 24, according to finance disclosure forms filed with the Los Angeles county clerk's office. Sagal also is the candidate who has spent the most money on his campaign: $7,288.

Kaitzer Puglia, an educator and wife of Valley Sun columnist Joe Puglia, received $5,754, while Urban Fitness Pilates Studio owner Jennifer Rubendall banked $4,160. Dan Jeffries, a prosecutor with the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, loaned himself $4,852.

Joel Peterson, the only incumbent running for reelection, put $2,500 of his own money into the campaign. He spent $4,563 on campaign literature and print advertising. Incumbents Susan Boyd and Scott Tracy have chosen not to seek reelection.


Karyn Riel, a Los Angeles school counselor, raised $1,699 in cash donations from herself and family members. Ian Mirisola and Kevork Kurdoghlian have both filed forms for candidates who do not plan to raise more than $1,000.

“We knew we would need financial support to help get the word out about the campaign,” Sagal said in an email. “We are very grateful to all of our supporters for making financial contributions, as well as contributing their time and effort.”

Former assemblyman Anthony Portantino gave $500 to Sagal through his committee for a 2016 state Senate campaign. Sagal also received donations from City Councilman Jon Curtis and La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation President Craig Mazin.

With issues like the possible transfer of the area of the city known as Sagebrush from the Glendale Unified School District to the La Cañada Unified School District and the discussion of the parcel tax on the table, this year's election has been closely watched by parents in the community.

Three people under the age of 30 also entered the race, a rarity for local elections. Board member Andrew Blumenfeld, who won a seat during the last election while a student at Princeton University, appeared to inspire the young candidates.

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