Democrat Josh Harder Depends on Cash, Volunteers from Bay Area

Josh Harder 1 Percent (Justin Sullivan / Getty)
Justin Sullivan / Getty

Democrat Josh Harder, challenging incumbent Republican Jeff Denham in California’s 10th congressional district, has only raised 1 percent of his campaign cash from the District and depends on the Bay Area for volunteers.

That’s the conclusion critics are drawing from recent data, including financial reports and news coverage in the San Francisco Chronicle of Harder’s volunteer operation, which noted that “369 volunteers for Harder, many of them Bay Area day-trippers,” had traveled to the district. In addition, Harder registered to vote in San Francisco, only re-registering in the 10th district in 2017 — conveniently in time to run for office.

The Denham campaign responded to the Chronicle report in a press release on Sunday.

“You have to be a part of this community if you want to represent it in Congress,” Denham said. “Every two years someone moves in to the district to run for Congress but Valley citizens know the difference between local values and Bay Area values.”
Denham was first elected to the North San Joaquin Valley’s 10th Congressional District in 2010 by succeeding Republican George Radanovich, who held it since 1995. But Denham only won re-election in 2016 by 3.4 percent, due to the district being one of the seven GOP-held House seats in California and 25 nationally that voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton to be President.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its 2018 “Red to Blue” campaign to flip all the Republican districts that voted for Clinton by recruiting local candidates.

First-time candidate Harder, whose main political pledge is “Medicare for All,” raised $7,003,682 for his 2018 campaign through Oct. 17, according to OpenSecrets. Harder collected just $22,776, or 1.1 percent, from his home district. San Francisco, San Jose, New York, Oakland, and Washington, DC, were his top five metropolitan contribution areas, according to OpenSecrets.

Denham, a former local state Senator for eight years and eight-year U.S. Congress incumbent, only raised $$4,418,276 for his 2018 campaign through Oct. 17, according to OpenSecrets. Denham collected $311,112, or 17.3 percent, from his home district. Modesto, Stockton, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, were the GOP Congressman’s top five metropolitan contribution areas, according to OpenSecrets.

Denham had almost twice the cash on hand as the $840,000 cash-on-hand held by Harder for the final three-week campaign push.

The Chronicle has referred to the 10th district contest as “Trump versus Bay Area Values.” Denham voted for President Trump’s effort to repeal Obamacare and to pass the Republican tax cut

The polls for California’s 10th district have been very tight since the June primary, and the latest Cook Political Report on Oct. 22 Cook rated the district as a Toss-Up.

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