Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to crush the competition in fundraising, outpacing all comers in his quest to become California’s next governor with just over $16 million cash-on-hand.
Meanwhile, former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has crashed to third place with almost $4.5 million cash on hand, less than half of the nearly $9 million that State Treasurer John Chiang has in the bank.
The real story is how the reserved, moderate Chiang, raised so much money and pushed Villaraigosa into a distant third, both in money raised in 2017 and cash-on-hand overall.
Chiang shares some advantages with Newsom over the entire field. Both are current statewide officeholders, for example. And now, having a huge pool of cash gives these incumbents a massive head start that other gubernatorial hopefuls may not be able to make up.
On the Republican side, the story is markedly different. Other than businessman John Cox — who put $3 million of his own money into his race, and raised just over $200,000 this period — there is not a single candidate that has raised over $100,000.
Even incumbent Assemblyman Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach), who is currently running a popular referendum to repeal the gas tax, is struggling to raise money, ending the period with less than $80,000 in his governor account and just under $50,000 in each of his other active accounts according to the Secretary of State’s website, including a 2018 Assembly re-election account and the referendum account.
The Republican field has narrowed, with former Assemblyman David Hadley dropping out earlier this month, and football star Rosy Grier announcing his withdrawal from the race Tuesday.
This post has been updated.