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The campaign coffers of candidates running for four San Diego City Council seats swelled by nearly $360,000 during the most recent reporting period, with the top money raiser being a District 1 candidate who contributed six figures to his own campaign.

Here is a quick, horse-race style breakdown of the fundraising efforts between Jan. 1 and March 17 in the four council races:

  • District 1
    Marshall Merrifield ponied up $107,000 of the $116,089 he raised this period for his fight against Phil Thailheimer and Sherri Lightner. Thalheimer and Lighter raised $21,544 and $25,433 respectively.

    Thalheimer, who in 2004 loaned his campaign $1.1 million in a losing effort against Scott Peters, says new campaign rules will keep him from loaning any more this time around — but he says can, and will, make contributions to his campaign when the time is right. And if he wins the race, he says he will hit up supporters in hopes of recouping at least a portion of the money he spent in 2004.

  • District 3
    This money race was close with Stephen Whitburn raising $23,138 to Todd Gloria’s $21,727. John Hartley was third with $3,774, and James Hartline brought up the rear with $1,682.
  • District 5
    Carl DeMaio raised $50,532 to aid his quest for City Council. He has $271,344 in cash on hand, more than any other council candidate. The city clerk had not yet received financial disclosure forms from DeMaio’s opponent George George by the close of business today.
  • District 7
    Marti Emerald raised $49,388 in the just-ended disclosure period to best April Boling’s $30,890. Boling, however, still leads Emerald in overall fundraising by close to $10,000. Other District 7 candidates David Tos and Bill Daniel lagged significantly with $2,532 and $70 respectively.
— DAVID WASHBURN

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