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San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris spent nearly $900,000 in 2003 to win her $157,000-a-year job. More than one-third of that spending, about $320,000, took place in the final weeks of her campaign. That amount nearly matched her two opponents’ spending for the entire year, according to campaign finance statements. The latest statements, filed Monday, illuminate the DA candidates’ fund raising and spendingin the weeks immediately before and after two citywide election days last year. After the Nov. 4 general election, Harris spent, spent and spent some more to beat incumbent Terence Hallinan in the Dec. 9 runoff. The former deputy city attorney spent $319,659 from Nov. 23 through Dec. 31 — about $216,000 of it on campaign literature and mail — bringing her spending for the year to $894,844. In contrast, Hallinan spent $348,850, and criminal defense attorney Bill Fazio spent $303,703 over the same 12 months. Harris’ campaign was unapologetic last fall about the first-time candidate’s plans to outspend her opponents. Her camp often noted that Hallinan and Fazio had each campaigned twice before for the DA’s job, in 1995 and 1999, and said Harris had to outspend them to stay competitive. Though she won the job and took office Jan. 8, Harris still has to raise at least $63,000 to erase her campaign debt. At the end of 2003, the Harris campaign’s debt totaled $95,887, while it had only $44,573 in cash on hand, campaign finance statements show. And she will owe the Ethics Commission roughly $12,000 more in coming months, though it doesn’t appear on the statements yet, said Harris campaign treasurer James Sutton. That money, to be paid in monthly installments through June, covers the remainder of a $19,306 fine levied last fall, Sutton said. Harris plans to retire her campaign debt with fund-raisers, and has already planned a series of them for this month, said Debbie Mesloh, spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. “She has not, nor will she, solicit people within the office,” Mesloh added. After the general election, Harris’ campaign turned to a broad spectrum of contributors. The latest report includes checks from Ray Dolby, chairman and founder of Dolby Laboratories; the Building Owners and Managers Association’s political action committee; cab driver Lewis Jackson; Harris’ sister and brother-in-law; and about 200 lawyers. It also expanded on an already notable list of contributing jurists, collecting checks from at least 14 retired and sitting judges and commissioners since Nov. 23. And Harris won the eleventh-hour financial support of at least a few previous Fazio supporters, including attorney Andrew Zacks, former Public Defender Jeff Brown, and San Mateo Assistant District Attorney Al Giannini. Like Harris, Hallinan’s campaign closed out the year with a whopping debt. His campaign still owed $61,138 at the end of December, and had only $296 in the bank. That debt includes $35,000 Hallinan loaned to his campaign last fall. But Fazio’s campaign bucked the trend, nearly breaking even. His campaign still had $731 in its war chest at the end of December. And it only owed funds to Fazi $1,001 in seed money the candidate loaned his campaign at the start of the race.

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