Backed by lawyers who have worked for and against her, Anne Marie Schubert has jumped out to an early lead over Maggy Krell in the fundraising portion of the race to become the next district attorney of Sacramento County.
Schubert, a supervising deputy DA in the office she hopes to head, banked $142,519 in campaign contributions as of the June 30 filing date.
Krell, a Sacramento-based deputy attorney general for the state Department of Justice, raised $83,820 for next year's June election.
"I feel very comfortable in saying I am the most qualified candidate for this position, and I will do what it takes to raise the money I need to raise to win," Schubert said.
In what is already the most hotly contested Sacramento DA's race in 20 years, Krell said, "Hundreds of people have invested in me in this race, and that's exciting. They know my broad experience, and the big-picture perspective I bring to the table will move Sacramento forward."
It was a $50,000 contribution from the Sacramento County Attorneys Association that vaulted Schubert to her significant financial edge.
The association is made up of about 290 lawyers who work in the DA's and public defender's offices. Deputy District Attorney Andrew Soloman, the association's vice president, said the contribution followed appearances by Schubert and Krell in front of the DAs and PDs.
Soloman said Schubert's experience swayed the county lawyers, a group that historically has remained fairly quiet in its political giving.
"We felt her level of experience far exceeded Maggy Krell," Soloman said of Schubert. "We just felt she is the more experienced and better qualified candidate all the way around."
Schubert, 49, is a 23-year prosecutor in charge of the DA's Special Assault and Child Abuse unit. She worked last year on the statewide campaign to defeat a ballot measure that would have repealed the death penalty in California. Outgoing District Attorney Jan Scully and Sheriff Scott Jones have both endorsed Schubert.
Besides the association money, Schubert received individual contributions from more than 40 of her fellow prosecutors, including top-level administrators such as Cindy Besemer, Steve Grippi, Lori Greene and Karen Maxwell. Several of the past and present stars from the homicide team, such as Eric Kindall, Chris Ore and Scott Triplett, backed her with cash. So did a dozen of the leading private defense attorneys in town, including Don Masuda, Bill Portanova, Mike Bowman, Russell W. Miller and Danny Brace.
The Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs' Association gave Schubert $10,000.
Other notable Schubert financial backers included her brother, political consultant Frank Schubert ($2,500), Sacramento County Supervisor Susan Peters ($150), state Department of Justice appellate death penalty defender Ward Campbell ($200), retired state appellate court Presiding Justice Arthur G. Scotland ($100), Sacramento State communications professor emeritus and political analyst Barbara O'Connor ($100), Lincoln Law School ($1,250), Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig ($100), former Sacramento sheriff and City Council member Robbie Waters ($300), the former U.S. attorney of the Eastern District, McGregor Scott ($1,000), Superior Court Judge Patrick Marlette ($200), and bail bondsman and bounty hunter Leonard Padilla ($2,300).
"Part of being able to communicate why she is far and away the best candidate for district attorney is doing the fundraising necessary to help you get your message out," said local Republican political strategist Mitch Zak, who contributed $100 to Schubert but is not working for her campaign. "She is as tenacious a candidate as she has been a prosecutor."
Krell, 34, has worked as a line prosecutor and appellate attorney for the state Department of Justice and the San Joaquin County district attorney's office for a decade. She has prosecuted murderers and also targeted white collar criminals engaged in mortgage fraud.
Her campaign contributions have come from public and private employee unions, lobbyists, private and public lawyers, including several fellow attorneys in the Department of Justice, legislative staffers, political operatives, and two Sacramento City Council members, Jay Schenirer and Allen Warren.
"I had not known her, and she called and introduced herself to me," Schenirer said. "And we spent some time talking, and I found her to be very articulate, very intelligent, and we talked a lot about prevention activities, which is where my heart is around young people. I think she knows where she wants to go and why she's doing this. It's all for the right reasons. I was very impressed."
Three law enforcement unions endorsed and contributed to Krell.
The Sacramento County Probation Association gave $3,500, the Sacramento County Alliance of Law Enforcement, which represents DA and public defender investigators, park rangers, deputy coroners and others, contributed $2,000. The Folsom Police Officers Association added $200.
Private sector unions that gave money to Krell were the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers local out of Oakland ($150), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 340 in Sacramento ($500), the Pinole-based District Council of Iron Workers Political Action League ($1,000), Operating Engineers Local 3 out of Alameda ($600), and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 447 in Sacramento ($500).
Three non-law enforcement public employee unions contributed to Krell. They were the California Attorneys, Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers in State Employment ($3,000), the Professional Engineers in California Government ($100) and the Sacramento City Teachers Association ($100).
Other prominent Krell contributors included labor lobbyist Barry Broad ($1,100), Steve Maviglio, media consultant for Democratic Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez ($250), the Stonewall Democratic Club ($1,500), Boys & Girls Club of Sacramento executive director Maureen Price ($200), state Democratic Party executive director Shawnda Westly ($250) and restaurateur and political activist C.C. Yin ($500).
"Given that she is a first-time candidate, raising $85,000 in that short period of time I think is a significant accomplishment," said Democratic political strategist Phil Giarrizzo, who is not working for the Krell campaign. "She built that on her own skill, tenacity and an ability to articulate why she would be not only a good DA but a good candidate."
Call The Bee's Andy Furillo, (916) 321-1141. Follow him on Twitter @andyfurillo.