California primaries draw more than $175 million after new redistricting map – OpenSecrets
Congressional candidates in the California primaries have collectively raised a massive sum of more than $175 million for the US House and Senate races, data compiled by OpenSecrets has revealed.
Unlike many other states with party-specific primaries, California has a “jungle primaries” system. Also known as “non-partisan” primaries, all candidates for the same elected office run against each other, regardless of party affiliation. The top two candidates receiving the most votes advance to the next round, similar to second-round elections.
In the U.S. Senate contest, Senator-nominee Alex Padilla (D-California) alone has raised more than $10 million of the total $10.5 million raised by Senate candidates so far this cycle. , and received approximately 55% of the primary votes. Republican Mark Meuser, who won nearly 22% of the vote and finished second, will face Padilla in the general election for a 2023-28 term.
Padilla – nominated by California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) to replace current Vice President Kamala Harris’ vacant seat – appeared on the ballot twice. This is because California state law requires gubernatorial nominees to go through the electoral process in the next scheduled election cycle in order to retain office. Therefore, Padilla will fight both to finish Harris’ term and for a six-year term in the Senate.
Among other issues, Padilla worked on voting rights and immigration reforms during his first two years in office, which made him a favorite in the midterm elections. Most of his contributions also came from individuals as opposed to PACs, according to figures broken down by OpenSecrets. Additionally, 89% of his funds came from state contributions, with the state’s metropolitan areas contributing the most to his candidacy.
In terms of amounts raised, the most expensive House primary race among California’s more than 50 congressional districts was the 20th district, spanning much of the San Joaquin Valley, where candidates collectively raised nearly $20 million. dollars before the primaries. Some other districts that have attracted big money include the 11th District at $17.6 million, the 47th District at $16.4 million, and the 30th District at $14.7 million. The 11th District covers parts of the Bay Area while the 47th District covers parts of Southland and the 30th covers western San Fernando Valley.
But the real races of note, according to Cook Political Report’s analysis, were the House races for the 22nd, 27th and 45th districts. These constituencies are among the most competitive contests in the country, with either party having a good chance of winning, which has important implications for the balance of power in the House.
The redistricted 22nd district could shake up the race
Incumbent Representative David Valadao (R) is running in the 22nd district, which was the 21st before the last redistricting. Valadao has represented the Democratic-leaning, Latino-majority 21st District since 2013, but the new congressional district is much more Democratic than the previous one, though it retains some Republican areas of its current district. He finished with just over 26% of the vote, placing second behind Democratic Congressman Rudy Salas (D), who won more than 43% of the vote. This is despite Valadao raising more than $2 million for the primaries, with individuals and PACs from major industries in the current election cycle having raised nearly $722,000 alone. Salas, on the other hand, raised $591,000.
Valado was also one of only 10 Republicans to vote to impeach former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 riot on Capitol Hill. While it’s still unclear whether Valado will win the general election, he received slightly more favorable votes than other Republican candidates in the race.
22nd District Special Election for Nunes Seat
In the 22nd District according to the old congressional map, Republican candidate Connie Conway got about 61% of the vote and won against her Democratic contender, Lourin Hubbard, who got about 38%. Conway will take the seat of former Rep. Devin Nunes (R – Calif.), who resigned to serve as group chief executive of Trump Media and Technology earlier this year.
All candidates in the special election collectively raised a total of approximately $2.5 million. Conway raised about $147,000 of that amount, or about 10% of the roughly $1.48 million raised by Democratic candidate Phil Arballo, the highest-raised candidate in the special election.
But the new Congressional map eliminated that district in 2023. As a result, the winner of this month’s election will only serve until the end of Nunes’ original term in January.
Close fundraising in the 27th arrondissement
Incumbent Rep. Mike Garcia (R-25) will face Democratic nominee Christy Smith in November in the fight to represent the 27th District, which covers Los Angeles County.
Garcia got about 48% of the vote in the primary while Smith got nearly 37%. But it could turn out to be one of the most competitive elections this season. Smith has lost to Garcia twice in 2020 — by a close call of less than 300 votes in the November election and in a special election to replace former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill.
Of the $5.2 million raised in the race, Garcia raised around $4.3 million and Smith raised nearly $974,000. But the funds raised by Garcia were nearly even, with about 55% of them coming from the state and 45% coming from out-of-state funds.
Similar to Valadao, the latest redistricting cost Garcia some of the Republican-leaning areas in his district. According to CNN National Political Reporter Maeve Reston, it could also cost him dearly in November this year, in terms of contrasting ideals given his vote against certification of the 2020 election results and his overall loyalty to Trump.
Tight race in the 45th arrondissement
More than a third of residents in the 45th District — which includes parts of Los Angeles and Orange County — are Asian American. And the new congressional card was set to harness the power of those voters in what was considered one of the most competitive races to date.
Incumbent Representative Michelle Steel (right) was one of the first Korean American women elected to Congress. She will face Jay Chen (D), whose parents immigrated from Taiwan. As a Republican candidate in a Democratic-leaning district, Steel managed to garner nearly 50 percent of the region’s vote to Chen’s 41.7 percent.
Before the redistricting, Steel and Chen planned to perform in different districts. But in the months leading up to the primaries, the two Asian American candidates engaged in smear campaigns against each other amid accusations of racism, sexism and red-baiting. This escalated to the point that Steel wrote an op-ed in the Orange County Register defending his points. Chen also wrote his own op-ed in his defense.
Steel and Chen also raised millions for the showdown. Steel raised $4.3 million and Chen raised $2.3 million. Steel raised slightly more than Chen based on individual and PAC contributions as well.
As the 45th District prepares to be one of the closest and hottest races this year, other notable high-profile races in the state include Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom against Republican nominee Brian Dahle (R ). Newsom advanced with 56% of the vote after surviving a campaign by his opponents to recall him from office last year, while Dahle secured around 17% to finish second but stand in the general election ballot.