Seems the young guns got it going on.
In just 25 days of the first reporting period for the 2012 San Diego mayor’s race, two young Republican candidates blew doors on the established competition with more than $300,000 cash on hand. Early predictors felt sure the mayoral primary would be a $1 million race. At this rate, we might be looking at $1.5 million.
Late yesterday, it was reported that Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher raised $320,000 between June 5 and June 30, with a $1,000 personal contribution. San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio tipped the scales at $274,000, which he matched dollar-for-dollar for a grand total of $545,000. By contract, current Mayor Jerry Sander’s candidate, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, raised $157,000, which included a $10,000 personal loan.
Accounting for expenses, DeMaio leads the pack with $450,000 cash on hand, and Fletcher follows with about $300,000. Dumanis reports about $138,000 in the bank, which had been circulating in rumor mills for weeks as her campaign remained mum on her totals. But city hall reporter Liam Dillon calculates her below the $100,000 mark.
Dumanis replied to Dillon’s question of her tepid showing to the Voice of San Diego saying: “Raising a lot of money isn’t a substitute for experience.”
With political heavy weights in Dumanis’ corner, including Sanders, Sheriff Bill Gore and a sizable chunk of the downtown business establishment, it leaves one to wonder why someone with so much experience isn’t killing it on the money front.
Though formidable, the downtown business folks are a fickle lot. They’ll invest where money seems best spent and right now, she’s looking weak especially after the rather unceremonious firing of her Republican campaign manager for a less conservative day-to-day manager in a fairly liberal camp. I wonder at the logic of swinging so far left in a city that, despite it’s “blue dog” high-propensity voting block, tends to elect moderate Republican mayors.
Of the three, Fletcher needed to make a real dent in the endorsement and financial support arena to prove viability to a voting block fairly unfamiliar with him. He’s also hanging out in the middle ground to squabble over the center-left and undecided voters over issues like gay marriage, Healthy Families and collective bargaining. That leaves the center-right territory firmly in DeMaio’s wheelhouse.
The one big name Democrat in the race, Congressman Bob Filner, reported just over $104,000 – which seems on par with what’s to be expected with a packed Republican field. At this point, his biggest worry would be seeing another Democrat, like former city Councilwoman Donna Frye, jump in and really muck up the works.
Pundits and poliwonks around town wondered these last few weeks whether the Dumanis bid can last to next June. It’s early in the marathon, but it’s a valid concern given camp instability and funding issues.
One thing’s for sure: the young guns marched onto the field ready for battle.
Erica Holloway is an award-winning Republican media strategist and former print journalist based in San Diego. She served as communications director to former Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth and San Diego County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price. In addition to the Flash Report, Holloway also blogs for San Diego Rostra. Follow her @erica_holloway.