Candidate spending in the race to the June Primary

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — With just over a month until the June Primary, California voters will be deciding on a number of high profile faces, including the governor, two congressional seats, one for county supervisors and an open seat for city council.

The goal for all the candidates in the races is to come out of the primary either first or second to qualify for the run-off in November.

California adopted the top two primary system in 2010 and it applies to all candidate races except for the presidential ticket.

We’ll start with the governor’s race which most people who follow elections closely believe lt governor Gavin Newsom and former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will advance to the November runoff.

Neither are that familiar with most voters but Newsome is ahead in the polls and with nearly $18 million in the bank that’s more than double the amount of cash on hand than Villaraigosa.

But campaign cash is only part of it. Independent expenditures, who have no direct connection to a campaign, will spend huge amounts supporting a candidate’s causes.

Charter school advocates are backing Villaraigosa with more than $12 million in TV ads which will boost his profile.

Republican John Cox, a businessman from San Diego outpolled Villaraigosa early on spending $4 million of his own money but he’ll likely fade for a lack fundraising to compete.

Trailing badly are Treasurer John Chiang, Assemblyman Travis Allen, and Diane Easton. In the congressional districts, the hot races are in the 49th and 50th districts.

In the 49th, which Darrell Issa vacated, Democrat and businessman Paul Kerr has flooded TV screens with his image, spending $1.6 million of his own money to get his name out there. He’s competing with Sara Jacobs, a nonprofit executive who has spent more than a million dollars to do the same.

Far behind are republicans San Juan Capistrano Councilman Brian Maryott, Diane Harkey, Supervisor Kristin Gaspar and Rocky Chavez.

In the 50th, Duncan Hunter is running for re-election but his credibility has been damaged by an investigation that’s dragged on for more than a year into the illegal use of campaign funds.

Two Democrats, Ammar Najjar, a community activist, and Josh Butner, a former Navy SEAL have far more campaign funds than the Republican challengers, Shamus Sayed, who is a San Diego businessman, and El Cajon Mayor Bill Wells.

While hunter has raised the most money much of it has gone to legal expenses because of the investigation.

We’re talking millions of dollars here. But if money were the deciding factor we’d already know the winners. Remember Meg Whitman for governor in 2010.

She spent $178 million and never came close, losing by 13 percentage points.

Categories: California News, Politics