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Record-Breaking Money Pours In for Cox-Valadao Slugfest



composite image of David Valadao, TJ Cox and the U.S. Capitol
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Not only have Central Valley congressional candidates raised more than they did in 2018, they have all set personal bests.

TJ Cox, David Valadao, Jim Costa and Devin Nunes have all set record breaking years to increase their war chests according to the Federal Election Commission figures. The latest reporting period covers Oct. 1 through Oct. 14.

Candidate Race Raised Spent
Jim Costa (D)* Congress 16 $1,984,618 $1,743,187
Kevin Cookingham (R) Congress 16 $245,356 $234,427
TJ Cox (D)* Congress 21 $5,244,933 $4,887,306
David Valadao (R) Congress 21 $3,678,714 $2,867,281
Devin Nunes (R)* Congress 22 $23,773,562 $18,179,333
Phil Arballo (D) Congress 22 $4,454,624 $4,258,120


Cox Outraising Valadao

In what may be the tightest race in California if not the nation, incumbent TJ Cox (D-Fresno) is pulling away in the money game from David Valadao (R-Hanford) in a 2018 rematch for Congressional District 21.

For the reporting period Oct. 1-Oct. 14, Cox raised $118,000 more than Valadao. He has $1.2 million more overall for the election cycle. Both men have already eclipsed their 2018 total. Two years ago, Valadao raised $3.2 million and Cox with $2.9 million.

Cox won the race by 862 votes. Both men are advertising heavily on TV. Outside spending is high as well.

According to tracking website OpenSecrets, $6.9 million is being spent against Cox; and $5.5 million against Valadao. Another $800,000 has been spent in favor of the candidates.

In 2018, outside spending was just over $2 million combined.

The biggest outside spenders are the National Republican Campaign Committee ($3.7 million) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($3.1 million).

Nunes Triples His Opponent

Incumbent Devin Nunes (R-Tulare) nearly tripled the take of opponent Phil Arballo (D-Fresno) in the latest reporting period, $1.2 million to $425,000. Nunes represents Congressional District 22.

Despite his optimism, Arballo has raised $4.4 million total, much less than the $9 million raised by Nunes’ 2018 opponent, Andrew Janz.

Nunes has more than doubled his 2018 fundraising. Janz got closer than any other Nunes opponent in his nine congressional elections, 53%-47%.

In Congressional District 16, Jim Costa (D-Fresno) continues to outdistance Kevin Cookingham (R-Madera County). Costa set an all-time fundraising high this year, attempting his ninth term in office.

State Assembly: Phelps Still Outraising Incumbent

There are six state Assembly seats in the Valley. Two have no election challengers — Jim Patterson and Frank Bigelow.

Only one race can be considered close at least fundraising-wise, based on reports through Oct. 17.

Democrat Drew Phelps continues to outraise incumbent Devon Mathis (R-Visalia) for the south Valley assembly seat, $285,000 to $212,000.

Phelps is a former contributor to GV Wire.

Candidate Race Raised Spent
Devon Mathis*(R) Assembly District 26 $212,708 $273,202
Drew Phelps (D) Assembly District 26 $285,566 $322,339
Jim Patterson* (R) Assembly District 23 $167,550 $232,876
Joaquin Arambula* (D) Assembly District 31 $394,934 $722,894
Fernando Banuelos (R) Assembly District 31 No filing listed
Frank Bigelow* (R) Assembly District 4 $343,107 $267,499
Rudy Salas* (D) Assembly District 32 $573,338 $351,215
Todd Cotta (R) Assembly District 32 $64,842 $65,291
Adam Gray* (D) Assembly District 21 $412,623 $550,380
Joel Gutierrez Campos (R) Assembly District 21 No filing listed

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email