CA17: Honda has more cash on hand than Khanna

Rep. Mike Honda’s re-election campaign now has a slight cash-on-hand edge over Democratic challenger Ro Khanna’s, pointing to a more level playing field this summer and fall should the two of them finish on top in the June 3 primary.

honda.jpgNew reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission for the 17th Congressional District race show Honda’s campaign had $1,038,360 cash on hand with $64,984 in debts as of May 14, while Khanna’s campaign had $1,009,673 cash on hand with $185,123 in debts.

Also, Honda’s campaign has reported raising $36,100 in contributions of $1,000 or more each since May 14, and while Khanna’s has reported $16,000 in such contributions.

Khanna over the course of this election cycle has raised about $3.8 million and spent about $2.7 million, while Honda has raised about $2.1 million and spent about $1.2 million.

“The fact that Khanna’s campaign feels the need to spend $3 million just to make it into the general election means that Ro Khanna is still not getting any traction with voters, while he is quickly running out of resources,” said Doug Greven, Honda’s campaign manager. “Voters overwhelmingly prefer Congressman Honda and want him to continue his record of delivering for the district, and our campaign will continue to save our resources to communicate that message to voters in the general election.”

Honda’s campaign believes that his incumbency and name recognition will tilt things in his favor between the primary and general elections if he and Khanna have roughly the same money to spend on advertising; Honda also is counting on greater turnout in November to bring him more votes.

Ro KhannaBut Khanna campaign spokesman Tyler Law said he’s sure “no one is surprised that we made smart investments with our resources ahead of the primary.”

“It’s what helped us reach out to over 240,000 voters, hold 173 meet-and-greets, and introduce Ro on both TV and mail,” Law said. “Ro has built an unparalleled grassroots organization, received every major newspaper endorsement, and stuck to talking about the issues that really matter. Frankly, the Honda campaign wouldn’t have avoided all debates and wouldn’t be paying to spread false attacks about Ro if they were confident in their standing with the voters.”

Republican Vanila Singh’s pre-primary report could not be found on the FEC’s website Thursday afternoon. Republican Joel VanLandingham has not raised any money for his campaign.

Meanwhile, in the 15th Congressional District, Rep. Eric Swalwell maintains his solid fundraising lead over fellow Democrat Ellen Corbett and Republican Hugh Bussell.

Swalwell’s campaign had $696,587 cash on hand with no debts as of May 14; Corbett’s campaign had $116,033 cash on hand and $18,000 in debts; and Bussell’s campaign had $3,236 cash on hand and $1,740 in debt – a loan he made to his own campaign.

Swalwell over the course of this election cycle has raised about $1.5 million and spent about $830,000; Corbett has raised about $386,000 and spent about $270,000; and Bussell has rasied $4,300 and spent about $2,800.

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.

  • Arete88

    I don’t understand what Honda’s campaign manager is saying – how is Khanna having raised a lot of money a bad thing? Khanna is the challenger, and needs to spend more to overcome the status-quo.

  • rg2013

    Nice try, Mr. Greven. The general electorate always favors the challenger (see Eric Swalwell over Pete Stark). Not once since the top two started a few years ago has the incumbent, on either side of the aisle grown their % in the general.

  • Marga

    I checked whether this is true, but it’s not. Obviously it’s not true for races where the November election is between an incumbent and a challenger from a different party. But it turns out to also not be true when the challenger is of the same party.

    For example, in CD31 the incumbent got 27% of the vote in June and 55% in November. Now that was a fluke election, so I’m willing to put it aside. But in CD43, Maxine Waters, gut 65% of the vote against her single Democratic challenger in June and 71% in November.

  • Guest

    Corbett’s fundraising has really been incredibly weak for a sitting State Senator running for Congress. The 60 year old Corbett – a longtime career politician – keeps claiming people begged her to run for Congress but that doesn’t seem likely given how little money she has raised. From day one I thought her campaign for 15th Congressional district seat ill-advised, this Freshman Congressman Eric Swalwell is proving to be just terrific. Seeing a young guy like this – he’s just 33 – going to Washington and busting his tail off for local constituents – the guy is a total whirlwind – it’s just so great to see. It makes you feel good about the future, things haven’t been going that great in the US economy for a lot of people – obviously – but we got this younger generation of leaders coming up, maybe they can figure it out.

  • Marga

    I find Corbett’s lack of fundraising power reassuring. It means she has not sold out nearly as much as Swalwell who has been taking PAC money as if there was no tomorrow. Come to think of it, there might not be.

  • Elwood

    There’s a word for candidates who are unable to raise money: loser. Even though they may be morally pure (or not).

  • Marga

    Not always. I think you’ll see Bob Wieckowski winning the SD10 seat despite his own inability to raise funds.