Fresno police chief Jerry Dyer has amassed more money for his 2020 mayoral run than the rest of the field combined.
In numbers released Wednesday that cover the first six months of 2019, Dyer raised $262,834. His closest fundraising competitor, Fresno County prosecutor Andrew Janz, collected $70,109.
Elliott Balch, the COO of philanthropy group Central Valley Community Foundation, raised $44,314.
Dyer, Janz and Balch remain the three main candidates. Councilman Luis Chavez filed to run, but has now withdrawn from the race.
Two others, Brian Jefferson and Richard Renteria, did not file financial data. Renteria ran in the 2016 mayor’s race. Jefferson frequently attends city council meetings, giving his name as Jay Justice Lima when addressing the council.
More Max Support for Dyer
Dyer has drawn his large money haul from fewer contributors than Janz.
In the first six months of 2019, Dyer picked up 28 contributions of $4,700 apiece, the maximum allowed from individuals or companies. He logged a total of 132 contributions of $100 or more (the minimum donation that must be reported).
Janz received support from more contributors, though individual donations were smaller. He reported 262 donations, with only one — from state Treasurer Fiona Ma — coming in at the maximum. Janz’s financial supporters generally have given a few hundred dollars each. Many contributions have notations that they were raised through ActBlue California, an online fundraising service.
Janz raised $9.2 million in his unsuccessful bid to unseat incumbent Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) in 2018. That was the eighth-highest fundraising total for all congressional candidates that year, according to federal records.
Of Balch’s 115 donors, none gave the maximum. Balch loaned his campaign $10,700.
|Name||Raised||Spent||Cash on hand|
|Richard Renteria||Did not report|
|Brian Jefferson||Did not report|
*Chavez did not file a financial form for his mayoral run, but did file for activity in his 2018 city council election account.
Chavez Drops Out
Chavez fundraising figures reflect the fact he is no longer seeking the city’s top elected job.
“After speaking with my family over the summer, I’ve decided to not run for mayor this time. I was entrusted to represent the great residents of southeast Fresno and I intend to fulfill that promise I made to them,” Chavez said in a statement.
He is not planning to endorse another candidate at this time, he said.
Brand’s Big Numbers
Though Mayor Lee Brand has opted not to run for reelection, he still reported raising $19,600 for the year. In 2018, he secured more than $400,000 in contributions. He spent nearly $31,000, but still has $434,547 in the bank with only a few hundred dollars in unpaid bills.
Brand has considerable leeway on how he can spend his campaign war chest. He could give to other candidates, subject to individual contribution limits. Brand made one such contribution of $1,000 to Nathan Alonzo for his 2020 city council race in east-central Fresno.
He also could use the funds to support independent expenditure campaigns on behalf of candidates or issues.
In addition, Brand can donate campaign funds to charity, as he did with a $1,000 contribution to the Fresno State Foundation for its student food cupboard project.
Brand’s spending in this reporting cycle went primarily to pay for accrued campaign debts of the usual variety (signs, accounting, legal). But there is one interesting expenditure: $11,200 to Moore Information, a firm based in Portland, Oregon, for a voter survey.
A spokesman for Brand would not specify what that survey was about, or when it took place.