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CA17: Khanna outraises Honda again, though closer

Congressional candidate Ro Khanna raised only slightly more money than incumbent Rep. Mike Honda in this year’s third quarter, but has more than twice as much cash banked for the race, according to both campaigns.

Both Democrats want to represent the 17th Congressional District, which lies in the heart of Silicon Valley and is the first district outside Hawaii in which Asian-Americans make up a majority of voters. Khanna, a Fremont resident who served for two years in President Barack Obama’s Commerce Department, lost last year’s bruising, nationally watched election by 3.6 percentage points as Honda held on for an eighth term.

Khanna collected about $380,000 – mostly in the quarter’s last 10 days – and spent about $103,000 from July 1 through Sept. 30, leaving him with about $1.3 million cash on hand and about $41,000 in debt, according to his campaign’s news release.

“These past few months my priority has been, of course, my wedding and honeymoon,” Khanna said in the release. “So, I am humbled to still see the outpouring of support. It’s a signal that this district wants a new beginning.”

Despite being embroiled in an ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation into whether his office and campaign blurred or crossed their lines, Honda, D-San Jose, raised about $350,000 and spent about $160,000 – including $26,000 on legal fees – during the third quarter, campaign spokesman Adam Alberti said Tuesday.

That left him with about $545,000 cash on hand as of Sept. 30, though his campaign declined to provide the amount of outstanding debt he has. At midyear, Honda had reported almost $35,000 in debt.

“Overall the pace of fundraising is steady, and we are on plan to have the resources necessary to fend off what know will be a big-money challenger who outspent the congressman 3-to-1 in his last attempt,” Alberti said.

Neither candidate’s full report to the Federal Elections Commission is available yet; the filing deadline is Oct. 15.

Khanna outraised Honda in the year’s first and second quarters, too.

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.

  • Tom Pyke

    So Khanna spends most of the quarter on wedding/honeymoon activities, Honda spends all of his time in the district fundraising (still no live town halls for constituents in over two years), and yet Khanna still outraises him?

    Spending $91,000 (Q2-3) in campaign funds on legal bills to defend against House ethics charges (which the bipartisan OCE found “substantial reason to believe”) can’t help Honda either.

    Time for Honda to call his PAC supporters and remind them that it’s “pay to play time.”

  • Crazy_Like_A_Fox

    It will be fun to review the FEC reports after they are filed. It’s surprising to me that Honda was actually able to raise $350K. His donors must be completely oblivious as to what’s going on or they are just plain stupid. Between his legal fees and the PR crisis communications firm, he has spent more than $100K in campaign contributions to cover those fees. It’s shocking to me that it’s even legal! It’s even more shocking that he actually has donors who are willing to foot the bill.

  • Crazy_Like_A_Fox

    Let’s not forget that Honda has also paid Singer Associates…the same PR crisis communications firm that cooked up a “brain tumor” for Mary Hayashi as she was trying to explain why she stole a sexy little black leather mini-skirt and other merchandise valued at over $2,000 from Neiman Marcus in SF.

  • NewDem2016

    I’m totally confused….Honda spent $66K in Q2 on lawyers before the $?!@ hit the fan on his ethics scandal. Then only spent $26K over the summer when the news broke? His crisis communications shop (Singer & Assoc) only charged $7500 for the quarter when they’re handled all of the press with a 1000 news organizations calling for comment when that humiliating Sept 3 OCE report hit? Something smells fishy here….me thinks Honda is cooking the books! I would guess that they’ve asked the lawyers and Singer to delay billing so as to keep his costs lower and COH higher….I’m also surprised that they didn’t disclose their debt here….that’s probably also messed around there…good ole Mike Honda…he uses office staff illegally as an extentsion of his campaign….he offers his donors front of line constituent services if they donate to his campaign (pay to play!)…and now, he’s probably got some reporting issues with his vendors…someone should call the FEC on this guy!