Eric Garcetti has expanded his narrow lead over mayoral rival Wendy Greuel in the race for campaign cash.

According to campaign filings released this evening, Garcetti raised $727,000 last quarter, beating out Greuel, who raised $672,000.
Garcetti also has more money on hand, with $3.6 million in the bank to Greuel's $3.3 million.

Councilwoman Jan Perry, who has battled the perception that she is an underdog, trailed with $157,000 raised last quarter and $1.3 million in the bank.

In a statement, the Garcetti's campaign boasted that they have the momentum with two months left before the March 5 primary. “This will be one of the most expensive races in LA history, so we must keep raising money and getting out the vote every day until Election Day, and we will,” said strategist Bill Carrick.

Greuel's campaign touted her grassroots support from all parts of the city.
“I will be a mayor for all of L.A. so no part of the city is left behind, and today's fundraising report is an emphatic signal that Angelenos are ready for a leader with the experience to get the city working again,” Greuel said in a press release.
Including public matching funds, Garcetti has raised $4,275,000 overall, about $133,000 more than Greuel.
Meanwhile, Emanuel Pleitez announced he had raised $102,000 last quarter, bringing his total for the campaign to $213,000. Kevin James' campaign spokesman said he would release the campaign's numbers on Friday.
Update 1: Greuel's strategist, John Shallman, puts his spin on things:
“We expected Councilman Garcetti would be much higher than this given the fact that he held the City's purse strings as President of the Council. Other than being the incumbent Mayor, there is probably no better job to leverage donors.”
Update 2: Kevin James raised $42,000 last quarter. He has raised $317,000 total, not counting matching funds. He has $90,000 in the bank.
Update 3: Jeff Millman, Garcetti's spokesman, responds to Shallman: “The Greuel campaign has had a bad few weeks. I'm not surprised that they're making excuses.”

LA Weekly