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Who’s Raking in the Cash for U.S. Senate?

Rep. Adam Schiff has a lot more money to burn than all his U.S. Senate primary opponents.

The Burbank Democrat entered the new year with $35 million on hand — more than all his opponents combined, according to federal campaign finance reports filed Wednesday. Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, his campaign raised $5.7 million from individual donors and more than $136,000 from political action committees.

Clockwise from top left, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, Steve Garvey and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee are all vying for U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the late Dianne Feinstein. Photos by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters and Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters
Clockwise from top left: U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, Steve Garvey and U.S. Rep. Katie Porter. Photos by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters and Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports via Reuters.

In comparison, Rep. Katie Porter ended the year with $13 million in the bank, raising almost $3 million from individual donors and $18,000 from political action committees during the last three months of 2023.



Rep. Barbara Lee, who has lagged behind her fellow Democrats in polling and fundraising, raised more than $1 million in the same period. She had just shy of $816,000 on hand by Jan. 1.

Republican Steve Garvey — the last of all the major candidates to file on Wednesday — raised just shy of $611,000 between Oct. 10 and Dec. 31, with $600,000 from individuals and $10,000 from political action committees. His campaign spent more than $302,000 during the same period, leaving just over $300,000 in the bank by Jan. 1. His campaign also has more than $48,000 in debt for fundraising, consulting and printing costs.

It was a first look at the fundraising power of the former L.A. Dodgers star, who launched his campaign in October. He is the top Republican in polls and the only GOP candidate to qualify for the two televised debates, but lagged behind all three Democrats in last-quarter fundraising and campaign reserves.

But he may be catching up. Garvey spokesperson Matt Shupe said that, in January alone, the campaign matched what it raised in the last quarter of 2023.

  • Shupe: “In just two and a half months, the momentum and support for Steve Garvey’s campaign, along with its rocket-like rise in the polls demonstrates that he is resonating with Californians.”

Some top candidates have spent big on advertising ahead of the March 5 primary. Between October and December, Schiff’s campaign spent at least $862,000 in digital and phone advertising, whereas Porter’s campaign spent more than $536,000.

Lee’s own campaign spent about $14,000 during the same period, focused primarily on print advertising. She Speaks for Me — a pro-Lee super PAC that launched a $1 million ad buy in November for her — reported raising no money at all in the fall, which could further hurt Lee’s chances of reaching more voters.

With less than a week until ballots go out, some Senate hopefuls have stepped up TV ad spending. Schiff’s campaign has bought at least $13 million worth of TV ads — the equivalent of Porter’s cash reserves as of Jan. 1, according to an analysis by AdImpact Politics last month. Pro-Porter groups have spent at least $3 million in TV ads, compared to $1.2 million by pro-Lee groups, the analysis said.

Eric Early, a GOP attorney, raised just under $40,000 during the last three months of 2023 and ended the year with $140,000 in the bank. Democrat Christina Pascucci, a Los Angeles TV journalist, raised $352,000 during the quarter and started this year with $154,000 in reserves.

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and Politics. This article is republished with their permission.

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