No fundraising boom for Emken’s Senate campaign

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken’s success in the June 5 primary didn’t translate into a big fundraising boom for her, her latest report to the Federal Election Commission shows.

Elizabeth EmkenEmken, 49, of Danville, bested 22 other candidates to finish second behind U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in the June 5 primary; Feinstein got 49.3 percent of the vote, while Emken got 12.6 percent.

In the period from May 17 through June 30, Emken collected only $53,834 in new contributions, bringing her total in this election cycle so far to $182,927. Worse yet, she had only $26,754 cash on hand as of June 30, with $260,546 in outstanding debts and obligations.

Feinstein hasn’t filed(see update below) her May 17-June 30 report yet, but her previous report showed she raised almost four times more from April 1 through May 16 – $706,419 – than Emken has in this whole cycle.

“We knew this was going to be a financial challenge — in fact, I don’t know anyone who thought otherwise — but that snapshot has been taken and the picture is looking brighter,” Emken spokesman Mark Standriff said today. “In just the past few days, the Emken campaign brought on Ron Nehring as senior strategist and Anne Hyde Dunsmore, one of California’s most successful fundraisers, as our finance director. It’s still going to be an uphill struggle, but we’re picking up steam at the right time.”

Nehring is the California Republican Party’s former chairman.

Nobody expects the National Republican Senatorial Committee will sink much, if any, money into Emken’s campaign; Feinstein is widely seen as unassailable, and the NRSC will target its money to states where seats are truly up for grabs.

For context, 2006 Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dick Mountjoy raised $18,672 during the similar period from May 16 to June 30, 2006, leaving him with $20,854 cash on hand at the middle of that year. So maybe Emken shouldn’t feel so bad; then again, Feinstein beat Mountjoy 59 percent to 35 percent that November.

UPDATE @ 12:52 P.M.: My bad – Feinstein has filed her FEC report for May 17 through June 30. It shows she raised $575,678 during that time (almost 11 times as much as Emken) and had $3,085,603 cash on hand as of June 30 (115 times as much as Emken) with outstanding debts and obligations of $302,092.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JohnW

    It would be interesting to see how close the vote would get, even against Feinstein, if the GOP-affiliated SuperPacs and 501(c)(4)’s pumped in the kind of loot they are using against Dem Senate incumbents in Missouri and Florida.

  • Do you know who donated the $575k to the Feinstein campaign?