John Shallman, the campaign strategist who ran Carmen Trutanich's failed bid for district attorney, said today he had severed his ties with Trutanich, and will run his opponent's campaign for city attorney.
Trutanich is up for re-election as city attorney in March. In an interview with the Weekly, Shallman said he had suggested to Trutanich that he “finish his term strong,” and then look for other ways to stay involved in civic affairs.
Trutanich, however, has said he will run for a second term.
Shallman said that he will continue to represent Assemblyman Mike Feuer, who is also running for city attorney. Feuer began raising money last fall, on the assumption that Trutanich would win the D.A.'s race, leaving a vacancy in the city attorney's office.
Trutanich's unexpected defeat puts the two candidates in a head-to-head matchup. Unless Trutanich backs down, Shallman will be running against a former client.
“I did suggest to Carmen that he should consider what his options are at this point,” Shallman said. “He could continue to do a good job as city attorney and finish his term strong, and focus on some of the issues he cares about … without necessarily being city attorney. A lot of people have foundations that can help rehabilitate his name.”
The Weekly reported last week that Trutanich has privately blamed Shallman for several missteps during the D.A.'s race, and quoted a source saying the relationship was over. Trutanich is said to be looking for a new consultant, and has every intention of running for re-election.
Trutanich ended the D.A. campaign owing a significant amount of money to Shallman and other vendors. It's unclear how — or if — that money will be repaid.
Trutanich will have to raise a substantial amount of money in a short period of time to compete with Feuer, who had $345,000 as of Dec. 31 and likely has substantially more than that now.
In a recent letter to his donors, Feuer said he has no plans to back down either: “I want to let you know that I remain deeply committed to this race,” Feuer wrote. “This will be a very competitive, expensive citywide campaign, and it's crucial to get off to a strong start.”