California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks during the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has raised $16 million since he started campaigning for California governor two and a half years ago, according to recent campaign filings.
That includes $5.4 million raised during the first half of this year.
Newsom’s totals, which include $13 million in cash-on-hand, are far more than any candidate in the race, most of whom joined just months ago.
Claremont McKenna College Politics Professor Jack Pitney said he’s not surprised at Newsom’s cash haul, given his name recognition.
Pitney cautioned, however, the 2018 governor’s race is just getting underway.
“Newsom is doing very well,” he said. “It’s not too surprising. He’s been a statewide political figure for a long time. First as mayor of San Francisco, then as lieutenant governor. There’s a lot of money in the Bay Area.”
USC Professor of Public Policy Sherry Bebitch Jeffe added that Newsom’s totals do not guarantee victory.
“Money alone doesn’t win elections,” Jeffe said. “The message, the candidate, the candidate’s campaign organization are important, too.”
State Treasurer John Chiang has raised about $7 million and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa about $5 million. Former state schools chief Delaine Eastin brought in approximately $300,000.
On the Republican side, venture capitalist John Cox has raised $3.2 million, nearly all from his own money.
And State Assemblyman Travis Allen, who entered the race in June, has brought in about $80,000.A poll in June showed Newsom with a 5 percentage point lead over Villaraigosa among likely voters.