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CA17: Khanna tops Honda again in fundraising

Democratic congressional candidate Ro Khanna significantly outraised incumbent Rep. Mike Honda in 2015’s final quarter, and now has about three times as much money banked for their electoral rematch this year, according to initial reports from 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 2014’s bruising, nationally watched election by 3.6 percentage points as Honda held on for an eighth term.

Ro KhannaKhanna’s campaign said Wednesday that he raised more than $500,000 and spent about $117,000 from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, leaving him with more than $1.7 million cash on hand and about $52,800 in outstanding debt.

“I am proud to see support for our campaign to strengthen the middle class create this type of enthusiasm and energy,” Khanna said in a news release. “Because we refuse to take PAC and lobbyist money, we’re going to need our grassroots support to take on the special interests and bring change to Washington. As we grow our campaign in 2016, we will continue to fund a grassroots campaign that engages and empowers the people of the 17th District.”

Khanna spent big on television ads and campaign consultants in 2014’s primary, leaving his campaign almost broke in the final weeks before that November’s general election; a super PAC called Californians for Innovation independently spent about $776,000 on his behalf to help bear him over the finish line.

Honda’s campaign said Wednesday that he raised $290,250 and spent $276,137 – a much higher burn rate than Khanna’s – in 2015’s fourth quarter, leaving him with $571,266 cash on hand and $20,907 in outstanding debt.

honda.jpgThe congressman “has raised more money at this point in the campaign cycle than in 2014, and like last time, the campaign is on track to raise the resources necessary to win this race,” campaign manager Michael Beckendorf said. “Even without the luxury of conservative millionaires and billionaires bankrolling his campaign, Mike Honda will win this race because he is the only candidate who has a track record of reaching across the aisle to deliver for Silicon Valley while standing up for justice and equality.”

But it’s not just re-election for which Honda is raising money. His campaign in the first three quarters of last year paid out a total of about $109,000 to two Washington, D.C., law firms and a San Francisco crisis-communications shop to combat the ongoing ethics investigation of which he’s a target. The House Ethics Committee is still probing whether Honda’s office and campaign broke House rules or federal laws by sharing resources, and it’s not yet known how much he paid his lawyers and spokespeople in the year’s final quarter.

Neither candidate’s full report to the Federal Election Commission is available yet; the filing deadline is Jan. 31. Khanna outraised Honda in 2015’s third, second and first quarters, too.

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McNerney outraises Andal in third quarter

Third-quarter fundraising reports show Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton, kept on out-raising and out-spending his Republican challenger, Dean Andal of Stockton, in California’s 11th Congressional District race.

McNerney’s report shows he raised $601,851.63 in the third quarter, for a total of $2,743,057.42 raised in this election cycle. He spent $957,901.95 in the third quarter, leaving him with $1,022,121.33 as of Sept. 30, the report says.

Andal’s report shows he raised $348,062 in the third quarter, for a total of $1,150,957.03 raised in this election cycle. He spent $195,081.44 in the third quarter, leaving him with $849,727.75 as of Sept. 30, the report says.

Andal issued a news release earlier today saying it feels great to know he has so many supporters, “and with the election only a couple of weeks out, we’re continuing to garner strong support – in both voices and fundraising. … (T)hanks to my supporters and their generous contributions, we have the resources to end this campaign on a very strong note.”

But truth is, he’s still at something of a competitive disadvantage. And as my colleague Lisa Vorderbrueggen noted in her blog earlier today, it looks as if the National Republican Congressional Committee well has run dry for Andal and other challengers as the national GOP turns its attention to protecting its endangered incumbents.

UPDATE @ 11:07 P.M.: Richard Temple, Andal’s consultant/spokesman, says I “missed the mark” with this post:

We enter the last month of the campaign with virtually the same cash on hand as the incumbent at the precise time when voters will be making up their minds. I doubt that McNerney is pleased knowing we have significant resources and issues to use against him. And if the DCCC comes in with a lot of money at the end, it will be water overflowing a bucket. They can outspend us 2-1 and it won’t make a difference as long as we have enough resources to get an effective message out — and we do. The shorter the time frame, the less that volume of spending makes a difference in campaign — after a certain amount voters tune campaigns out. McNerney squandered his early financial advantage and we enter the last month within striking distance, with enough resources to get our message out, stronger issues in our favor, and a good district. I’ll take our chances. Watch this race closely and see what happens.

UPDATE @ 2:24 P.M. THURSDAY: From McNerney campaign spokesman Andy Stone: “Richard Temple may be feeling lucky, but he probably shouldn’t hit the tables at Cache Creek just yet.”