The race for lieutenant governor in California — a position that incumbent Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom once famously said should be eradicated if it wasn’t made more effective — has already seen a combined total of $10 million raised by all seven of the primary candidates who are vying for the post, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The figure is reportedly “far more than the $7.6 million that candidates raised for the entire election cycle the last time the seat was open in 2010, according to the nonpartisan National Institute on Money in State Politics.”
According to local NBC News affiliate in Los Angeles, nearly $5 million of that $10 million came from an independent group funded primarily by one of the candidates’s fathers, Democrat Eleni Kounalakis.
The llist of candidates includes four Republicans and three Democrats. Among them are two former ambassadors, a veteran state senator, a former Richmond mayor, a San Jose State University professo, and a wealthy Los Angeles businessman.
The Republicans are Cole Harris, who reportedly won the state’s Republican Party’s endorsement; David Fennell; David Hernandez; and Lydia Ortega. The Democrats are Eleni Kounalakis, Ed Hernandez, Jeff Bleich, and Cameron Gharabiklou.
Tim Ferreira is running as a Libertarian, while Gayle McLaughlin and Danny Thomas have no party preference.
According to the Chronicle, Harris has spent nearly $1.9 million of personal wealth on the race for lieutenant governor.
As for the Democrats, Bleich, a state senator and optometrist, has raised nearly $2.8 million. Kounalakis reportedly raised $4.5 million, the most of all the candidates, including $2.5 million of her own money. Meanwhile, Hernandez, a state senator and optometrist, has raised nearly $2.8 million.
The primary will be held on June 5. The two top vote-getters will advance to the general election on November 7 regardless of political party.