As we did after the year end Federal Election Commission filings, we look past the amount of money given to each candidate to find out how many INDIVIDUALS opened their wallets for their favorites.
Methodology: The FEC filings list donations individually but some donors pony up a bit at a time, so there are duplications. So, we created a spread sheet and then filtered the list by unique last name. This results in an undercount because a husband and wife are counted as one donor. This applies to all candidates. It also excludes multiple contributions by the candidate and family members,
As a result, these are “about” numbers…an approximation…so squint when you read them. They should show trends. Also, we filtered out corporation and PAC contributions so we could have an idea about how many people donated. (We don’t concede that corporations are people)
Donors from B to Z:
Michael Barkley: This is an easy count. He has one donor, himself. Mr. Barkley proudly proclaims he is “self-funding” his campaign.
Jeffrey Denham: The incumbent Representative for District 10, he leads handily in total money banked when corporate and PAC donations are included, but trails one Democratic challenger in donors and donations in the first quarter of 2018 according to the FEC filings. In that three month period he got $261,442 from 250 individuals but has obtained $2,397,361 overall for this election cycle.
Michael Eggman: Although he did not announce his candidacy (for the third time) until early February, he was banking money into his old committee account during 2017 and obviously had lists with names who had previously donated. So, he was able to best Virginia Madueno and Sue
Zwahlen, who have been in the race since mid-2017. In the first quarter he collected $165,733 in individual donations from 140 donors. Overall, he has received $248,863, this election cycle to date.
Josh Harder: Mr. Harder is the clear leader among Democratic hopefuls in all categories. For the first quarter of 2018 he banked $321,155 from 339 donors (unique last name) which brought his approximate donor list to 920 and donations to $1,293,033 for the election cycle.
Ted Howze: A late Republican entry into the campaign, all but a couple of the stack of chips he brought to the table are his own. His first quarter numbers, therefore, are also his election cycle numbers. Of the $141,630 received $135,980 are from his own pocket. A husband and wife put up 5,650 and were his only donors listed on the FEC filing.
Virginia Madueno: One of three Democratic women to challenge Mr. Denham, she has bested Mrs. Zwalhen and Dotty Nygard, who dropped out but whose name remains on the primary ballot, in fund raising. She brought in $87,012 from 73 donors and has banked $243,851 from 97 donors in
the election cycle.
Sue Zwahlen: While Mike Barkley’s campaign is actually, and proudly, self-funded, Mrs. Zwahlen has provided about two thirds of her treasury from loans or contribution. She had 40 donors the first quarter; $93,436 in receipts for the first quarter and $301,192 overall. About $200,000 was from contributions or from loans made or guaranteed by her.
Takeaways: Democrats are worried that their candidates will split the vote in a way that leaves Mr. Denham and Mr. Howze, both Republicans in the top two spots and moves them on to a general election which the incumbent is likely to win.
So, some are hoping someone will drop out. Mr. Barkley not only says he will not quit now, he says he plans to run again in 2020. Mr. Harder, as the clear leader in donors and donations, will not consider quitting. Neither will Ms. Madueno, because she sees momentum given some high level personal endorsements and second place fund raising among Democrats. Mrs. Zwahlen trails but has given no indication she is willing to drop out, especially given her personal investment in her campaign. Finally, Mr. Eggman is happily plowing old ground in his third try for this seat in congress, so something dramatic will have to happen before he considers quitting.
In terms of fund raising for the first quarter, the Democratic candidates in the aggregate brought in $667,336 compared to $212,052 banked by the two Republicans from individual contributions.
In terms of individuals, the Democrats garnered support from 920 and the Republicans from 252, in the quarter.
Spending has begun. Mr. Denham dusted off his standard “local farmer” lawn signs. The challengers have been planting their colorful signs all around the district. Television ads have been seen and phone calls abound.
Who’s that knocking on your door?
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.