Gu­ber­na­to­rial money race lead­ers

Lieu­tenant gover­nor has a clear cash ad­van­tage over ri­vals in gu­ber­na­to­rial bid.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - SEEMA ME­HTA­hta@la­ Twit­ter: @LATSeema

Gavin New­som tops the field, with $13.1 mil­lion cash on hand. John Chi­ang is sec­ond, with $5.7 mil­lion.

Gu­ber­na­to­rial can­di­date Lt. Gov. Gavin New­som has raised more money this year than his top three Demo­cratic ri­vals com­bined, continuing his front-run­ner sta­tus in the money race.

Ac­cord­ing to cam­paign fi­nance dis­clo­sures that cover the first six months of 2017, New­som raised nearly $5.4 mil­lion since Jan. 1 and ended June with $13.1 mil­lion cash on hand. The bank bal­ance re­flects the fact that he en­tered the race in early 2015, far ear­lier than his ri­vals.

State Trea­surer John Chi­ang, also a Demo­crat, has raised nearly $2.7 mil­lion this year and has $5.7 mil­lion at his dis­posal.

Both men also have cam­paign com­mit­tees linked to their cur­rent elected po­si­tions that each have roughly $3 mil­lion, most of which will be trans­fer­able to their gu­ber­na­to­rial ef­forts.

The other prom­i­nent Demo­crat in the race, for­mer Los An­ge­les Mayor An­to­nio Vil­laraigosa, does not have that ad­van­tage; he en­tered the race in Novem­ber and has raised less than his other top chal­lengers. Vil­laraigosa has col­lected more than $2.3 mil­lion this year and has $4.5 mil­lion cash on hand.

De­laine Eastin, a Demo­crat who pre­vi­ously served as the state schools chief, has raised $321,000 and ended June with $107,000 in the bank.

The GOP field has two prom­i­nent can­di­dates af­ter San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer de­cided not to run and for­mer state law­maker David Hadley en­tered the race and dropped out two weeks later af­ter de­cid­ing he could not win.

John Cox, a Ran­cho Santa Fe busi­ness­man, has re­ported rais­ing $3.2 mil­lion this year — nearly all self­funded — and end­ing June with $2.8 mil­lion cash on hand.

The fundrais­ing po­ten­tial of his main Repub­li­can ri­val, Assem­bly­man Travis Allen of Hunt­ing­ton Beach, is un­clear be­cause he en­tered the race about a week be­fore the fil­ing pe­riod closed June 30. Dur­ing that brief pe­riod, he re­ported rais­ing $78,400.

None of the can­di­dates re­ported sub­stan­tial debt.

For a race that is just un­der a year away, it is awash in cash. The last time the gover­nor was termed out and the seat was open was in 2010.

At this pe­riod of that race, then-Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who would go on to win the seat, was months away from en­ter­ing the con­test. New­som, then the mayor of San Fran­cisco, raised $1.7 mil­lion in the six-month pe­riod end­ing on June 30, 2009. He would later drop out of the race and suc­cess­fully ran for lieu­tenant gover­nor in­stead.

The real ac­tion came with the Re­pub­li­cans in the race. Two wealthy can­di­dates were run­ning for their party’s nom­i­na­tion at a time when the GOP still held power at the statewide level, and donors were will­ing to spend large sums on statewide races.

For­mer EBay chief Meg Whit­man raised $10.8 mil­lion dur­ing that time pe­riod, $4 mil­lion of which she con­trib­uted to her cam­paign. Her main ri­val, Steve Poizner, who was then the state’s in­sur­ance com­mis­sioner, raised $4.6 mil­lion in the first six months of 2009, all but $400,000 of which came from his fam­ily trust.

The 2010 gu­ber­na­to­rial race would go on to be the most ex­pen­sive in the state’s his­tory.

Jay L. Clen­denin Los An­ge­les Times

GAVIN NEW­SOM raised close to $5.4 mil­lion in the first six months of 2017.

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