The Coast News Group

Millions pour into 49th District race

REGION — The 49th District race, which is expected to be one of the more competitive midterm races in 2018, was turned on its head when incumbent Darrell Issa announced last month that he would not seek re-election.

According to the year-end filings, Sara Jacobs, the former international nonprofit director who recently entered the race to replace Darrell Issa (R-Vista), raised the most money of the candidates during 2017, raising $1,390,972. Of that amount, Jacobs contributed more than $1 million of her own money to jump-start financing of her campaign.

The Coast News contacted Jacobs’ campaign and will update the story with the response.

Orange County environmental attorney Mike Levin reported raising $1,239,889, the second highest amount. He also reported spending the most of any candidate, $753,665. Without the self-contributions, Levin actually raised the most of the candidates that have reported, $1,217,019.

“We are very proud of the over 12,000 contributions we’ve received to date, with the average amount around $100,” Levin said. “Our campaign is powered by the grassroots, and that’s what it will take to win in November. This is the people’s seat, and it’s not for sale.”

Rancho Santa Fe businessman Paul Kerr also reported raising $1,013,489, and spending $493,448.22 during the calendar year. Like Jacobs, Kerr’s biggest contributor was himself: he contributed more than $712,000 of his own money to his campaign.

Doug Applegate, who nearly defeated Issa in 2016, reported raising $682,845, fourth among the four major Democratic candidates.

The Coast News also contacted Kerr and Applegate’s campaigns for comments and will update the story when it receives them.

Since Issa’s announcement, five Republican and an additional Democrat have announced election bids. Those candidates are Republicans Kristin Gaspar, Diane Harkey, Rocky Chavez, Brian Maryott and Joshua Schoonover and Democrat Christina Prejean. Since they filed for election after Dec. 31, no campaign financial information is available for them.