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Democrats Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) and San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan are leading fundraising efforts in their respective races after the first reporting period of 2022.
Democrats Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) and San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan are leading fundraising efforts in their respective races after the first reporting period of 2022. Courtesy photos/The Coast News graphic
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Fundraising Roundup: Levin leads GOP field, Duncan outraises Davies

REGION — The latest fundraising numbers for North County San Diego candidates seeking state and congressional office were released in April showing most, but not all, incumbents leading their challengers after the first reporting period. 

In the 49th Congressional District, which spans the coastline from San Juan Capistrano to Del Mar, incumbent Rep. Mike Levin significantly outraised all of his Republican challengers during the first quarter of 2022, raising $615,000. Levin has received $2,536,928 in total so far during the race, per FEC filings.

Levin’s top contributors were the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, End Citizens United,  Moms Demand Action, the Brady Campaign, Bold Pac (the Congressional Hispanic Caucus PAC), Council for a Livable World, J Street,, and Women for American Values and Ethics.

Trailing Levin in campaign contributions for the quarter was Republican candidate Brian Maryott, who raised $408,409, for a total of $2,088,325. 

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, a Republican also running for the U.S. House seat, raised $374,119 in the last quarter for a total of $406,619 since she announced her candidacy in January.

Oceanside City Councilman Chris Rodriguez meanwhile raised $273,463.56 during the first quarter and has raised $1,049,620 in contributions to date. According to Rodriguez, he has over 8,000 individual donors averaging $78 per individual donation.

“This is 2 to 10 times more donors than any other candidate,” Rodriguez said. “This is literally a grassroots funded campaign, there’s no arguing it, and you can’t point a finger at any specific group or major donor, as the majority are retirees.”

Bartlett argued that Maryott’s fundraising numbers were false and misleading, pointing out that approximately $200,000 of the contributions Maryott reported for the first quarter was money that he loaned to his own campaign.

Bartlett also pointed out that Maryott’s campaign incurred $1,120,600 in debt during the first quarter, which she says calls the financial stability of his candidacy into question. 

“He is not the candidate that people think he is, it’s all smoke and mirrors with Brian Maryott,” said Bartlett’s campaign manager Tim Lineberger. “He’s not a Certified Financial Planner, he’s not a viable candidate, and he’s not raising the money that his numbers suggest. If people fall for it, he will blow a chance to win a very viable district and possibly flip Congres as well.” 

In March, Bartlett filed a complaint with the state against Maryott, arguing that he had lied on his ballot designation by calling himself a Certified Financial Planner, even though he no longer actively engages in the profession. Maryott changed his ballot designation in response but denied any wrongdoing. 

Bartlett asserted that without the money that Maryott loaned to himself during the first quarter,  he came in a distant fourth in fundraising, behind Levin, Bartlett and Rodriguez. 

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett filed a complaint March 21 with the California Secretary of State against fellow Republican candidate Bryan Maryott
Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett filed a complaint on March 21 with the California Secretary of State against fellow Republican candidate Bryan Maryott. Photo courtesy of Lisa Bartlett

“I am grateful for the growing support, which demonstrates voters are looking for a viable alternative to Brian Maryott, who has already run and lost in the district multiple times and was forced to change his ballot title after he misled voters by misrepresenting his qualifications,” Bartlett said.

Rodriguez agreed, expressing that Bartlett, and not Maryott, won the battle for fundraising in the first quarter.

“I think the big takeaway here is that Maryott is not running away with support, he’s just donating a lot of money to himself. Bartlett killed it this quarter —good for her — and Maryott barely raised over $200,000 even though he’s the endorsed candidate by the Republican party, and still he had to put in 200k of his own money,” Rodriguez said. 

In a statement to The Coast News, Maryott largely ignored Bartlett’s claims and instead emphasized that his focus remains on winning the June primary. 

“As reported to the FEC our campaign raised $408,291 in the quarter and finished with over $1.3M cash on hand,” Maryott said. “Again, we modified our ballot title because the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards requires the use of trademark symbols for public display, and trademarks are not permitted on ballots. We look forward to winning the primary and embarking on our second general election effort to win this seat.” 

State Senate District 38

In the 38th District race for state senator, Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear led the way with $203,232 raised so far this year, for a total of $583,414 raised to date.

According to Blakespear’s campaign, her top 10 contributors are the California Nurses Association PAC (CNA-PAC) Small Contributor Committee, the Faculty for our University’s Future, a committee sponsored by California Faculty Association ID# 85007, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West Political Action Committee, CA State Council of Service Employees Small Contributor Committee, Southwest Council of Carpenters Political Action Fund Small Contributor Committee, California Teachers Assn. / Assn. For Better Citizenship, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees — CA People, United Domestic Workers of America Action Fund, Small Contributor Committee, National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care and Union Democracy, and the Women’s Political Committee.

Republican candidate Matt Gunderson raised $170,497 for a total of $472,175 to date. Some of his top donors include the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association PAC, the Busch Group, Wilk for Lt. Governor 2026, Cargo PAC (CA Trucking Association), Volco Cars Orange County Inc., CA New Car Dealers Association PAC, Jaws Holding Corps, and Friends of Frank Bigelow for Assembly 2022. 

Democratic candidate Joe Kerr reported having raised $116,650 during the first reporting period of 2022. Kerr’s top 10 donors are the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, Orange County Professional Firefighters Association, Cal Fire, UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union #582, Sheet Metal Workers International, UA Journeymen & Apprentices Local #250, International Union of Operating Engineers Local #12, Southern CA Pipe Trades Council #16, UA Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union #582, Santa Rosa Rancheria, and Andy Thorburn.

Approximately $84,000 of Kerr’s contributions for the period were transferred from his earlier campaign to run for Orange Counter Supervisor in District 5. 

Democratic candidate Joe Kerr is seeking the 38th State Senate District seat.
Democratic candidate Joe Kerr is seeking the 38th State Senate District seat. Courtesy photo

In a press release announcing her fundraising numbers, Blakespear touted having outraised both of her opponents combined (discounting Kerr’s contributions from his run for supervisor), expressing that the results from the period demonstrate both the financial strength and the overall viability of her candidacy as compared with Kerr. 

“Democrat Joe Kerr, who trails the field in available polling, took in $32,650 since jumping into the race in January. While Kerr reported $116,650 in total receipts, $84,000 of it was money raised in 2021 for a failed Orange County supervisorial campaign, which he transferred to his senate campaign account. Both of Blakespear’s opponents combined raised $203,147, just slightly less than Blakespear’s total,” Blakespear’s release states. 

“I’m honored by the number of people from across San Diego and Orange Counties who believe in our campaign. The outpouring of generous support by so many people and organizations throughout California is truly humbling. I know that with their continued support, our campaign will be victorious,” Blakespear added. 

Kerr responded simply by calling Blakespear’s characterization of the fundraising results “incredibly misleading.” 

“Yeah, it’s very misleading of her to say that,” Kerr said. “We’re raising money every day, everybody’s got their own slice, and everybody’s going to put together from the numbers what makes them look good and that’s obviously what she’s doing here.”

State Assembly District 74

In the race for the 74th Assembly District, Democratic challenger San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan led the way over Republican incumbent Assemblywoman Laurie Davies (R-Niguel) after the first filing period this year, raising $117,488 since announcing his candidacy in January. 

Duncan’s top 10 donors, per state filings, are Ann Worthington with Vivimax, the Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Worker’s International Union, Russell Ketchum, Heat & Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local 5 PAC Small Contributor Committee, National Union of Healthcare Workers Candidate Committee for Quality Patient Care Ad Union Democracy PAC, IBEW PAC Educational Fund Federal, U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local Union No. 582 Small Contributor Committee, Janet Bledsoe Lacy, and Frank Shanahan with California Manufacturing and Engineering, LLC. 

Assembly Preview: Chris Duncan
San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan outraised Assemblywoman Laurie Davies. Courtesy photo

Davies has raised $95,982 this year, for a net total of $366,000 to date. Her top 10 donors are the Irvine Management Company, the California Correctional Peace Officers Association PAC, Davita, Orange County Professional Firefighters Association Local 3631 PAC, California Real Estate PAC, Apartment Association of Orange County PAC, Western Manufactured Housing Communities Sponsor, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Walbern LP, and Southern California Edison. 

“I am so grateful to the many hardworking local residents who have shown their belief in our grassroots campaign,” Duncan said in a statement. “They know I will always put our communities first – not party or the special interests. Thanks to their support, despite our late start, our campaign has built tremendous momentum and outraised the incumbent.” 

State Assembly District 76

In California State Assembly District 76, Democratic incumbent Assemblyman Brian Maienschein leads his Republican challengers so far this year, raising $237,686 this last quarter for a total of $1,291,809 for the entire campaign cycle.

Maienschein’s top 10 donors per filings with the state are the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers PAC, the PAC of California School Employees Association Committee, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, California Nurses Association Pac, America’s Physician Group Cal Pac, Cal. State Pipe Trades Council PAC, California Dental Association PAC, Emergency Medical PAC (American College Emergency Physicians), Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Political Action Fund and Govern for California Network (Sandy Dean). 

Republican June Cutter, a small business owner and former attorney running to unseat Maienschein, has raised $157,505 since announcing her candidacy in January. Cutter’s top 10 donors are Laura M. Nelson, Thomas W. Sudberry Jr., Heath Flora for Assembly, Jimmie P. Nelson, Gallagher for Assembly 2022, Scott Sandstrom, Thomas Brown, Reden & Reden-Justin Reden, Chanwon Choi, and Bonnie Kane. 

Republican challenger Kristie Bruce-Lane raised $90,142.16, for a net total of $158,757. Bruce-Lane’s top 10 donors are Kevin Watkins, Douglas Barnhart, Marc Brutten, Robert Colucci, Robert Trunzo, Laine Lansing, Kennon S Shea & Assoc., Mark Schmidt, Frank Bongiovanni and Jennifer Disotell. 

State Assembly District 77

In Assembly District 77, Democratic incumbent Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner-Horvath, who has represented the district since 2018, raised $85,705 in the first reporting period of the year, and has raised $698,519 in total.

Boerner-Horvath’s top ten donors are the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers PAC Small Contributor Committee, Women’s Political Committee, Genetech USA, PACE of California School Employees Association PAC, Peace Officers Research Association of California PAC, Adam Robinson (president of RPG formerly known as RAF Pacifica Group), Margaret R. Singleton, Amy S. Flicker, Pace of California School Employees Association Small Contributor Committee, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 PAC.

Boerner-Horvath’s lone challenger in the race is Republican Dan Downey, who announced his candidacy in March. Downey has raised $3,015 to date, largely from family members and close friends, his campaign told The Coast News.