Former rival antes up for Ted Lieu’s campaign

Rivals not long ago, two 2010 Democratic primary candidates for state attorney general are apparently on much better terms today.

Chris KellyFormer Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly of Palo Alto – who spent $12.3 million of his own money on his primary campaign last year, only to place third behind winner Kamala Harris and second-place finisher Alberto Torrico – gave $3,900 Monday to the state Senate campaign of Ted Lieu, the termed-out Assemblyman from Torrance who finished fourth in last year’s AG primary.

Lieu is running in the 28th State Senate District’s special election, necessitated by the Oct. 20 death of Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Carson. The special primary is scheduled for Feb. 15; if nobody gets more than 50 percent of that vote, there’ll be a special general election April 19.

Also running are Republicans Martha Flores Gibson, an educator from Long Beach, U.S. Customs and Border Protection retiree Jeffrey Fortini of Hawthorne, Lomita attorney James Thompson, and businessman/attorney Bob Valentine of Manhattan Beach; Democrat Kevin McGurk, a Venice attorney; Libertarian Peter “Pedro” De Baets, a small-business owner from Los Angeles; and nonpartisans Mark Lipman, a publisher and community organizer from Mar Vista, and Venice community activist Michael Chamness.

Ted LieuThe 28th District’s voter registration is 48 percent Democrat, 25 percent Republican and 22 percent decline to state, so Lieu – as the best-known Democrat in the field – looks like a presumptive front-runner.

Kelly’s olive branch is a tiny fraction of the whopping $320,538.12 in contributions that Lieu logged this week. Well-known Democratic contributors include former state Controller and 2006 gubernatorial primary candidate Steve Westly, campaign consultant Garry South, and state Senators Joseph Simitian, D-Palo Alto; Mark Leno, D-San Francisco; Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara. Lieu also got money from corporate entities including Visa U.S.A., Microsoft and Anthem Blue Cross, as well as from unions including the California Professional Firefighters, the State Building and Construction Trades Council and the American Council of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.