Fundraising in California Special Nears $2 Million

Posted May 8, 2009 at 7:39am

The special election to replace former Rep. Hilda Solis (D-Calif.) has become a $2 million affair, according to newly released campaign finance reports, with the two frontrunners in the race dominating the fundraising field.State Board of Equalization President Judy Chu (D) raised $993,000 for the special election through April 29, including $50,000 from her own pocket, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night. She raised $169,000 in the month of April alone, and she had $449,000 cash on hand for the final push to the May 19 election.State Sen. Gil Cedillo (D) wasn’t far behind on the fundraising front, collecting $149,000 in April and $717,000 overall. He had $300,000 in the bank as of April 29.Only five of the 12 candidates in the all-party special election have raised enough money to file FEC reports, but collectively they have raised close to $2 million — and are all but certain to exceed that figure when the election is over.Although no public polls have been released on the race, Cedillo and Chu are far and away the best-known candidates and are considered the frontrunners in the race to replace Solis, who resigned earlier this year to become President Barack Obama’s secretary of Labor.The 32nd district, east of Los Angeles, is heavily Latino, but Chu has a solid base of support. On Thursday, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) announced she was supporting Chu — even though the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and Sanchez’s sister, Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), have sided with Cedillo.If no candidate tops 50 percent of the vote on May 19, the top vote-getters from each party advance to a special general election in July.