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Whittier City Council Election Finances: District 1 Analysis

The District 1 race for the Whittier City Council seat is witnessing an intense fundraising battle between incumbent Jessica Martinez and challengers Maggie Moe and Mary Ann Pacheco. Our investigation into campaign finances unveils significant dynamics shaping this competitive electoral contest.

Mary Ann Pacheco's Fundraising and External Support:

Pacheco's campaign has garnered notable attention, having raised $22,886. However, a significant portion, approximately 53% ($12,225), originates from outside her district and the City of Whittier. This influx of external funding, particularly from individuals associated with Pacheco's tenure at Rio Hondo College, raises questions about the influence of specialist interests in local elections.

Several contributions have been flagged for closer scrutiny, including a $2,500 donation from Los Angeles-based Laborers Local 300 and a $1,000 contribution from Lisa Calderon for Assembly 2024. Concerns arise regarding potential attempts by state legislative entities to influence local election outcomes, as evidenced by Calderon's campaign contribution.

Moreover, a contribution of $250 from Long Beach-based PAC Latinas Lead California raises eyebrows due to the organization's purported agenda of removing non-Hispanic officials and supporting exclusively Democratic candidates in California. Such groups often deny the significance of national borders and may pose challenges to local governance.

Maggie Moe's Fundraising Overview:

Challenger Maggie Moe's campaign has raised $3,118, with approximately 20% ($643) originating from outside Whittier. Notably, most outside contributions stem from individuals contributing smaller amounts, although a significant $500 donation hails from an individual residing in La Habra Heights who owns a home in Montana. But it should be noted this is a lot less than the thousands of dollars that both Pacheco and Martinez have been getting from outside special interest groups who try to hide behind dark money. But they can't hide from everyone.

Jessica Martinez's Campaign Dynamics:

Incumbent Jessica Martinez's campaign has amassed $24,584 in funds, with 27% ($6,550) originating from outside Whittier and her district. This makes Martinez the leader in District 1 campaign fundraising. While Martinez predominantly receives support from District 1 residents, attention is drawn to substantial contributions from external entities.

A significant contribution of $5,000 from Newport Beach resident Henry Matson, previously involved in a lawsuit against the city, raises questions about potential conflicts of interest. Additionally, a $1,000 donation from the California Real Estate PAC underscores the involvement of external interests in local elections.

However, Martinez's campaign also received substantial support from local entities, notably $3,248 from Joe Vinatieri's reelection campaign and $4,000 from Whittier Together PAC. The latter's composition reflects a diverse array of Whittier residents and professionals committed to promoting civic engagement and ethical leadership.


The District 1 race for the Whittier City Council seat showcases a complex interplay of local and external influences on campaign finances. While candidates like Mary Ann Pacheco face scrutiny for significant external funding, incumbents like Jessica Martinez navigate a landscape of both local and external support. As the electoral contest unfolds, transparency and accountability in campaign financing remain paramount to upholding the integrity of Whittier's democratic process. Stay tuned for further updates as we continue to delve into the intricacies of Whittier's electoral landscape.

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