You might think that all you need to win the Congressional primary in California’s 33rd Congressional district, which includes celebrity hotspots like Malibu, Beverly Hills and Bel Air, is the endorsement of stars such as Katy Perry and Kim Kardashian.
Well, think again.
As the results of Tuesday’s 90210 primary showed, having the backing of famous Hollywood personalities is not necessarily a game changer.
Marianne Williamson, a spiritual adviser and best-selling author, enjoyed the backing of Perry, Kardashian and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette, but all that celebrity wattage wasn’t enough to land her a top-two finish. (In California, the top two vote-getters advance to the general election).
Williamson came in fourth place with 13 percent of the vote – 5,000 votes behind former DreamWorks executive and mayoral candidate Wendy Gruel. The top two finishers were Elan Carr, a GOP candidate, and Democrat Ted Lieu, who won Tuesday’s race with 21 percent and 19 percent of the vote.
Carr, a former prosecutor and Iraq war veteran, and Lieu, state senator and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Forces Reserves, did not rely on a celebrity-filled campaign, but on their own backgrounds.
However, Williamson was a successful fundraiser with nearly $1.6 million raised and one of the most star-studded campaigns of all the 17 candidates in the race for the open seat currently occupied by retiring Rep. Henry Waxman. a Democrat.
Perry showed up at Williamson’s events, Williamson’s campaign ads featured Nicole Richie and Eva Longoria, Kim Kardashian officially endorsed Williamson in a blog post on her website, and Morissette wrote Williamson’s campaign song.
Wendy Greul was close behind in the celebrity race, managing to raise more than $900,000. Because she won the endorsements of Hollywood figures Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, as well as of Emily’s list, Greul was regarded as one of the likeliest to take the top spots.
Yet, Greul ended up as No. 3 finisher, missing a spot in the general elections in November with 17 percent of the vote.
Donors to the campaign of another candidate, attorney David Kanuth, included Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and “Melrose Place” star and rocker Jack Wagner. But Kanuth only received 1 percent of the primary vote.
The winning candidate of the general election in November will succeed Waxman. In January, Waxman announced that, after 40 years on Capitol Hill, he would not be running for re-election.
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