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San Diego County DA Dumanis Lags In Fundraising Among Legal Professionals

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and challenger Bob Brewer.

Credit: Couresy photos

Above: San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and challenger Bob Brewer.

Key Points

  • Among individuals listing attorney, lawyer or general counsel as an occupation, Brewer outraised Dumanis four-to-one.
  • Several serving deputy district attorneys, whose union endorsed Dumanis, made contributions, with all three candidates receiving some money from DDAs.
  • Two sitting San Diego County Superior Court judges contributed to Dumanis’ re-election campaign, actions that one legal ethicist called “inappropriate”.

As San Diego County district attorney, Bonnie Dumanis may fairly be called the top lawyer in the county. But local legal professionals aren't backing the three-term incumbent with their wallets.

According to an inewsource analysis of campaign contributions, challenger Bob Brewer is drawing far more money from attorneys.

Among contributions from individuals who listed attorney, lawyer, general counsel or some variation of those as their occupation, 78 percent went to Brewer and 21 percent to Dumanis. One percent went to former federal prosecutor Terri Wyatt, who is also running in the June 3 primary election.

INTERACTIVE: Click here for a searchable database of contributions in the San Diego County district attorney's race.

As of March 17 — the closing deadline for the last campaign statement — Brewer's campaign and a pro-Brewer/anti-Dumanis independent committee named San Diegans for Better Justice had raised a combined $519,845. Candidates’ campaign committees are subject to a $1,400 per person limit — $700 for the primary and $700 for the general election (though individuals may give the entire $1,400 during the primary so long as the campaign sets aside anything above $700 for the general election). Individuals may contribute unlimited sums to independent committees.

Dumanis had raised $400,854. Wyatt had raised $15,803.

For all candidates, those figures include non-monetary contributions and exclude loans made by Brewer and Wyatt to their own campaigns.

In terms of cash on hand as of March 17, Brewer’s campaign and San Diegans for Better Justice had a combined $362,597. Dumanis’ campaign had $245,193. Wyatt’s campaign had $33,122. Those figures include loans made by Brewer and Wyatt to their own campaigns.

Law Firms Source Of Much Brewer Cash

Law firms are well represented among companies with employees who've donated the most in the race. As such, that gap explains a great deal of Dumanis' overall fundraising disadvantage vis-a-vis Brewer.

Of the 10 organizations whose employees contributed the most money in the race, six are law firms.

Employer Total Contributions from Employees Contributions to Brewer Contributions to Dumanis Contributions to Wyatt Contributing Employees
Cushman & Wakefield $20,700.00 $20,700.00 $0.00 $0.00 1
Jones Day $15,950.00 $15,950.00 $0.00 $0.00 33
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd $8,250.00 $6,850.00 $1,400.00 $0.00 14
County of San Diego $8,099.00 $1,899.00 $4,700.00 $1,500.00 23
Veros Credit LLC $6,300.00 $0.00 $6,300.00 $0.00 9
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP $6,050.00 $4,350.00 $1,700.00 $0.00 13
Higgs Fletcher & Mack $5,727.79 $4,527.79 $1,200.00 $0.00 13
Angelos Towing $4,900.00