Below, Steve Ringhoff, of Modesto Explained, offers a concise and revealing summary of candidate fund raising for California’s District 10 Congressional Campaign during this year’s first quarter.
Democrat Josh Harder out raised all other democratic challengers during the first three months of 2018, including Michael Eggman, who one wag dubbed the “incumbent Democratic challenger.” Harder also brought more into his treasury during that period from individual contributions than the actual incumbent, Congressman Jeff Denham. Mr. Denham has expanded his overall fund raising lead because of his acceptance of political action committees contributions.
Showing up as a candidate only recently, Republican Ted Howze, is, as a practical matter, self-funding his campaign, as he raised only $5,650 from individuals while loaning gobs to his campaign. And, at least one Democratic challenger, Sue Zwahlen, continues to loan money to her own committee far in excess of contributions from individuals.
The candidates were required to report funds raised during the first quarter of 2018 on specific Federal Election Commission forms due April 15. Here are some results from those reports, and from the year end reports filed by those campaigning in 2017:
Mr. Denham raised $261,442 from individuals in the first quarter and an additional $336,399 from PACs. This brought his total raised in the election cycle to $2,397,361.
Mr. Harder raised $321,155 plus $1,000 from NewDemPAC, a non-corporate PAC. This brought his election cycle total to $1,293,033. This is just about half of Mr. Denham’s total, but national Democratic party monies probably will not appear until after the June 5th primary.
Mr. Eggman, who did not file to run until after the first of this year, raised $165,733 plus $15,000 from PACs. This brought his election cycle total to $248,863.
Sue Zwahlen raised $93,436 but $70,000 of that amount was from loans she made or guaranteed. This brought her election cycle total to $301,192 of which $200,000 were from loans she made or guaranteed.
Virginia Madueno brought in $ 87,012 in individual contributions and $7,000 in PAC donations for a quarterly total of $94,012. Her election cycle total is $243,851. She loaned her campaign $10,000 at the outset of her campaign, but nothing this quarter.
Mr. Howze filed his Form 3 report on April 9 and amended it about an hour later. Prior to the amendment, he showed over $250,000 on hand. The final version showed individual contributions of $5,650 and loans made or guaranteed of $135,980 with an election cycle total of $141,630. Some claim he is a “spoiler” meant to assure two GOP candidates by watering down the vote totals. If that is the case, he is investing a lot of his own money—if it really is his own money.
Mr. Denham, Mr. Harder and Mr. Eggman do not show any loans made to their committees. Mike Barkley, whose perennial challenge can fairly be called a “shoestring” effort, raised $12, loaned his campaign about $7,545 and ended with an election cycle total of $8,715.
Harder raised about twice as much as Mr. Eggman in the first quarter of this year and has raised about five times as much over the election cycle. He had a head start on fund raising because Mr. Eggman delayed entering the race, for whatever reason.
Other democratic hopefuls have not come close to the fund raising juggernaut the Harder campaign has become. Nurse Zwahlen is essentially self-funding her campaign. Ms. Madueno raised less than a third of the amount raised by Mr. Harder.
The result of the fund raising discrepancy may become apparent in the next 45 days. Expect a blizzard of TV ads, phone calls, mailers and doorbells as those that have, spend.
Some have suggested that some Democratic challengers drop out to alleviate the fear of a Republican coming in second because of the voter spread. Nurse Zwhalen may be the obvious choice to some because her fund raising efforts seem to have stalled. But, she has so much of her own money invested already, she may, to use the poker term, be “pot committed.” Despite meager funds, Mike Barkley has vowed to stay in race and has said he will run again in 2020.
About The Author
Former Bee reporter Steve Ringhoff was also a career attorney. After he retired, he combined his love for journalism and law, writing about how our local governments do and do not serve the people.