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One of the big questions Stephen Whitburn faced when he decided to run for San Diego County supervisors was how he would pay for it.

In losing effort for San Diego City Council in 2008, Whitburn spent more than $210,000 of his own money. This time, he arrived late on the scene after San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye chose not to declare for the race. His primary opponent, 16-year incumbent Supervisor Ron Roberts, had a huge fundraising head start and Whitburn could have used some dough.

But Whitburn said his savings were tapped out and he wouldn’t be self financing his campaign. Recent filings show that he wasn’t kidding.

Whitburn raised $21,000 from March through May 22, the end of the last campaign filing period, and $26,000 total for the election. Very little of that money came from Whitburn himself.

Whitburn only loaned or contributed just over $2,500 to his election, according to campaign financial statements. The campaign paid $1,000 of that back.

“I was completely upfront with people that I invested all of my savings into my City Council race,” Whitburn said. “I had no savings left for this race, which is why I am working so hard to raise money.”

Roberts, meantime, raised $107,000 this filing period and spent more than $141,000.

— LIAM DILLON

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