Fundraising · Highlight · Politics

Nunes hits afterburner on reelection, mints $50k daily

Facing a 103-day countdown to Election Day in November, Valley congressional candidates are seeking to solidify their bankroll before burning down the house on TV airtime and slick mailers.

Candidates spent much of the May-to-July stretch recalibrating their fundraising approach. With shelter-in-place orders and gatherings cancelled, campaigns replaced in-person fundraisers with Zoom calls, email appeals, and direct mail to close the gap.

Here’s a look at the tale of the coronavirus quarter:


  • Q2 R: Funds raised in the First Quarter of 2020
  • Q1 SP: Funds spend in the First Quarter of 2020
  • RCTD: Funds raised in the 2020 cycle-to-date
  • SCTD: Funds spent in the 2020 cycle-to-date
  • DBT: Debt
  • COH: Cash-on-hand

California’s 22nd Congressional District

Hopes that Rep. Devin Nunes (R–Tulare) would face a second expensive, slogging contest for re-election in 2020 have drastically faded.

For starters, Nunes – long one of California’s top Congressional fundraisers regardless of party – is shattering fundraising figures compared to 2018.

In July 2018, Nunes reported raising $2.5 million within the second quarter. Two years later, Nunes reported hauling in $4.5. million.

While Nunes’ fundraising engine is revved up, his Democratic counterpart – financial advisor Phil Arballo (D–Fresno) – has completely missed the lofty expectations set by Janz two years prior.

After defeating two other Democrats in the March 3 Primary, Arballo has yet to capture donors’ pocketbooks and post million-dollar-plus quarters. Meanwhile, his burn rate – the amount spent compared to raised within a quarter – remains near 80 percent.

Devin Nunes Campaign Committee (i) $4,555,713.96$2,786,350.09$16,428,715.49$10,391,444.12$0$10,533,844.88
Arballo for Congress$829,228.84$657,018.83$2,624,463.43$2,175,336.56$0$449,126.87

California’s 21st Congressional District

Rep. TJ Cox (D–Fresno) is awake.

After seeing his predecessor, former Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) deliver a hefty fundraising sum to close out 2019, Cox has won back-to-back fundraising quarters to kick off 2020.

The race, which is expected to be the costliest in the Valley, will attract spending from outside D.C.-based groups.

Yet, the two campaigns show a neck-and-neck stockpile.

TJ Cox for Congress (i)$939,607.24$231,860.78$3,279,849.20$1,487,731.53$0$1,968,975.24
Valadao for Congress$701,192.56$153,565.84$2,416,309.74$724,999.78$0$1,810,571.92

California’s 16th Congressional District

After thwarting a primary challenge to his left, Rep. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) is likely to face a lower-key November.

The proof is in the numbers, as fundraising for both him and his Republican opponent, Kevin Cookingham, have largely cooled off from heavy fundraising and spending ahead of the March Primary.

Jim Costa for Congress (i)$126,174.01$70,644.85$1,688,220.83$1,430,370.85$0$427,372.90
Kevin Cookingham for Congress$29,285.74$10,419.10$126,682.74$101,812.68$1,000.00$24,870.06

California’s 23rd Congressional District

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) has continued delivering steady seven-figure fundraising for his own efforts in Kern County while still working to recapture the House majority.

Meanwhile, Democrat Kim Mangone had her best quarter of the election cycle with a haul exceeding a quarter-million dollars.

Kevin McCarthy for Congress (i)$4,496,099.93$3,666,429.01$16,866,429.58$12,297,427.76$0$6,263,266.43
Committee to Elect Kim Mangone for Congress$359,743.50$117,896.81$492,038.62$208,395.53$1,308.42$283,643.09

California’s 10th Congressional District

Freshman Rep. Josh Harder (D–Turlock) continues to be a dark horse fundraising leviathan, posting another six-figure quarter.

Following exposure of old Facebook posts with racist implications, Republican Dr. Ted Howze saw fundraising – along with party support – drop off.

Josh Harder for Congress (i)$1,011,553.05$286,273.11$5,625,364.46$1,376,060.86$0$4,386,842.80
Ted Howze for Congress 2020 $170,680.85$118,801.66$1,371,560.57$1,117,393.31$691,000.00$254,167.26

The San Joaquin Valley Sun
Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.