Gavin Newsom isn’t just leading in the polls in California governor’s race. He’s got the most money in the bank, too. And it isn’t even close.
Campaign finance reports filed this week show the Democratic lieutenant governor with more cash on hand than all of his rivals, combined.
Newsom reported raising $4.6 million in the last half of 2017. Combined with money he raised earlier — including funds left over from his 2014 campaign for lieutenant governor — he has $19.5 million cash on hand.
His nearest competitor, Democratic Treasurer John Chiang, reported a combined $8.9 million net cash on hand after subtracting roughly $20,000 in debt — $5.8 million in his gubernatorial account and $3.2 million left over from his 2014 treasurer’s campaign. Chiang raised $1.3 million in the last half of 2017, but spent all but $35,000 of that money over the same time period.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, also a Democrat, outraised Chiang during the reporting period, bringing in $2.1 million. But lacking a previous statewide campaign warchest, his $5.8 million cash on hand ranks him third in a race where the top two finishers in the June primary, regardless of political party affiliation, advance to the November general election.
The top Republican fundraiser is San Diego businessman John Cox, who reported just under $2 million in the bank. He only raised $305,000 in the reporting period — the least of all the candidates who filed reports this week — but contributed $3 million of his own earlier earlier in 2017. He spent roughly $1.1 million during the last half of the year.
Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin reported raising $337,000 and spending $258,000 during the last half of 2017. She ended the year trailing her Democratic rivals with $80,000 cash on hand after subtracting $103,000 in debt — nearly all of that debt a personal loan she made to her campaign.
Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen rounds out the field. He raised $337,000 during the reporting period — more than his GOP rival Cox. But Allen spent roughly twice as much as he raised, and ended the year more than $200,000 under water, with $135,000 in the bank but $342,000 in unpaid debt. His campaign says the debt represents future payments for slate mail cards that the campaign has reserved but are not yet due.
Finally, there’s former Republican Rep. Doug Ose, who entered the race last month. He did not file a report for 2017 but so far has reported raising $34,200 — including a personal donation of $29,200.