Alan Carvalho and Rita Lamb Rely on Loans to Help Pay for Campaigns

CATHEDRAL CITY — Incumbent City Councilor Rita Lamb and Alan Carvalho, her sole challenger for the District 1 seat in the Nov. 3 election, are relying, in part, on loans to help underwrite their respective campaigns.

Carvalho has the larger of the loans, according to his Campaign Disclosure Statement.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 19, Carvalho reported total contributions of $32,370.54. Some $30,826.64 of that was in the form of a loan from his husband, Shelley Kaplan, who also serves as Carvalho’s treasurer.

His total expenditures for the period were $21,977.79. His ending cash for the period was $10,392.75

He has six contributions for the period, one from Chip Yarborough and one from the Desert Stonewall Democrats. 

Lamb, who won a special election in 2019 to fill the unexpired term of  the late Gregory S. Pettis, is seeking a four-year term in November.

Between July 1 and Sept. 19, Lamb’s total contributions were $12,293, which included a $10,000 loan to herself. Her total expenses were $10,595.

One of her most notable contributors is Mayor John Aguilar, a onetime friend of Carvalho’s, who donated $500 to Lamb’s re-election effort. The donation comes as little surprise. Aguilar and his colleagues on the City Council have all endorsed Lamb. 

Her ending cash balance for the period was $7,787.

Loans are not unheard of. Candidates may loan their personal funds for campaign purposes. When they do so, they are making contributions to their campaigns. Unlike other contributions, these candidate contributions are not subject to any limits but are subject to additional reporting, according to the FEC.

Self-funders reportedly face unfavorable odds, according to the Center for Responsive Politics  — but why is that?

“The main reason is they tend to be extremely inexperienced in politics,” said Jennifer Steen, associate research professor of political science at Arizona State University told the Center. “Often, they don’t have compelling resumes, they don’t have compelling credentials.”

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