Running for office must be a labor of love, because it certainly wouldn’t be the cheapest hobby someone could pick up.

The L.A. Council seat left vacant by the election of Janice Hahn to the U.S. Congress will come to an end tomorrow, but not before nearly $2 million has been spent campaigning for it. Of the 11 candidates for the seat, five have raised at least $100,000, and that doesn’t include special interest money being spent independently of the candidates. One candidate has had more than $355,000 spent for them.

But being elected is only the first challenge facing the next council member. Not long after this election will be the start of the budget wrangling season, where it is expected the 15-member board will have to find between $200 and $250 million in reductions to get the city out of the red next fiscal year.

From the Los Angeles Times:

In a hotly contested Harbor area campaign where union support has loomed large, nearly $2 million has been spent in the run-up to Tuesday’s vote to fill a rare open seat on the Los Angeles City Council.

Five of 11 contenders vying in the special election to replace former Councilwoman Janice Hahn have raised more than $100,000, according to campaign filings posted Friday. Union support has been split among three labor-friendly front-runners.

Candidate Pat McOsker, the former head of the city firefighters union, has benefited from nearly $355,000 in independent spending by several city employee unions, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and Service Employees International Union.

Read the full article here.