L.A. Mayor Race: 'The Closer' Creator Gives $25,000 to Eric Garcetti Super PAC

James Duff Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images

James Duff Headshot - P 2013

James Duff's donation to the group "Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013" officially sets off a Hollywood duel with the pro-Wendy Greuel PAC supported by Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.

The independent-expenditure committee supporting Eric Garcetti’s Los Angeles mayoral candidacy has been up and running for only a day, but the committee already has secured its first significant contribution -- $25,000 from The Closer creator James Duff, officially kicking off a duel between Hollywood-backed super PACs.

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The pro-Garcetti group, called "Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti for Mayor 2013," was formed as a counterweight to the DreamWorks-supported independent-expenditure committee backing City Controller Wendy Greuel’s candidacy. Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and David Geffen have collectively given $150,000 to the PAC and have urged others in Hollywood to give thousands more. This is the first municipal election in which super PACs have played a role, and many analysts think their importance will dramatically increase if, as is expected, Garcetti and Greuel face each other in a May runoff election. (Neither candidate appears poised to capture the 51 percent of the vote required to win the March primary outright.)

Writer/director Duff on Tuesday became the first person to donate to the pro-Garcetti independent-expenditure committee, according to longtime Hollywood activist Rick Jacobs, who co-founded the PAC along with Mary Jane Stevenson, who directed President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in California.

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The most recent polls show Garcetti holding a narrow lead over former DreamWorks executive Greuel. Kevin James, the only Republican in the mayoral field, is backed by a PAC funded by a conservative Texas billionaire.

Jacobs told THR that it is “unfortunate” that Garcetti’s backers have had to organize an independent-expenditure committee, but that they “don’t want Eric to be outgunned” by Greuel supporters’ ability to buy television and radio advertising in the campaign’s closing weeks.