Feb. 1, 2012 | It's a matter of debate whether the quick $1.2 million haul of Ro Khanna, the former commerce department official from Fremont, is will matter much during the race this year to challenge long-time Rep. Pete Stark in the 15th District.
Khanna, who amassed an astonishingly large war chest, he says, for a future run at the seat in two years, did so with the help of a large number of donors from outside of the current congressional district.
A tally of his campaign fundraising report show 89 percent of the record $1.2 million came from donors outside of the district limits roughly between Hayward, Fremont and Pleasanton. The list is predominately made up of Indo-American donor with ties primarily to Silicon Valley interests. Although many donors originated from more upscale locales in Northern California, a large number also came from the Northeast and Washington, D.C.
Stark, already sitting on a perpetual pile of around a half million in cash, recorded over $88,000 during the past four months giving him nearly $580,000 in cash on hand. Most of the donation came from groups affiliated with health care and pharmaceuticals. Stark sits on the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee.
One notable entry stands out, though. Khanna, himself, wrote Stark a $1,000 donation last October.
With the end of the nomination period near, the primary race for Stark's seat still appears unsettled. Currently only Stark, Dublin Councilman Eric Swalwell and Chris Pareja, an independent with ties to the Tea Party have announced intentions to run. The possible entry of state Sen. Ellen Corbett, according to observers, would significantly jumble the make up of the race.
Swalwell raised over $65,000 in last quarter of 2011, according to campaign finance reports due Tuesday. His year-end tally came in at just over $89,000 cash on hand. The total is impressive for the freshman councilman and Alameda County prosecutor who hopes to parlay distinct advantages surrounding the redistricting of the seat that includes more moderate voters in Dublin and Pleasanton.
Although Corbett says she is only exploring the chance of running for congress this year, nonetheless, she still raised over $161,000 last quarter with nearly $148,000 cash on hand not including debts of over $22,000. Corbett's early fundraising totals are also impressive as compared to her past fundraising exploits. She is not known to be one of Sacramento's most prodigious fundraisers.
Primary voters will go to the polls June 5 to choose, regardless of party affiliation, the top two candidates to face off in the November general election. It will be the state's first use of the open primary system since being approved by voters in 2010.
THE HAUL (thru 1/31/12)