10:25 PM PDT on Monday, March 29, 2010

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

An earlier version of this story attributed a $10,000 campaign contribution from Criminal Defense Attorneys to District Attorney Rod Pacheco. The contribution was to opponent Paul Zellerbach.

Campaign finance reports for the first three months of the year show incumbent District Attorney Rod Pacheco leading his only challenger Paul Zellerbach in campaign fundraising.

Pacheco has $452,108.46 in his campaign war chest. Much of that was raised during the three terms he served in the state Assembly and fundraisers during his time as district attorney. He ran unopposed in 2006 for his first term.

Zellerbach has $19,180.54 in campaign funds. He is a Riverside County Superior Court judge who went on unpaid leave in February to run for the office. As a judge, Zellerbach could not seek donations until about three weeks ago.

In the statements covering Jan. 1 through March 17, Pacheco’s campaign raised $51,775. During that same period he spent $65,101.

Zellerbach gathered $37,196 and spent $18,016. He also made a $10,000 loan to his campaign.

“I couldn’t even campaign” while serving as a judge and waiting to go on leave, Zellerbach said. He said he planned several fundraisers for April.

Pacheco’s biggest contributions in the latest statement included $5,000 each from the Morongo Band of Mission Indians Native American Rights Fund as well as from the political action committees for the Riverside County Deputy District Attorneys Association and the Laborers International Union of North America Local 777, based in Riverside.

He also received $5,000 from Wintec Energy Ltd. of Palm Springs and businessman James Houston, of Palm Springs.

Zellerbach received a $10,000 contribution from the Criminal Defense Lawyers group and lesser contributions from individual attorneys.

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