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What Will Devin Nunes Do With $11 Million in Campaign Account?



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Former congressman Devin Nunes has $11 million cash on hand. What will he do with it? (GV Wire File)
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Devin Nunes’ legacy may not be his conservative representation in Congress or his ardent support of Donald Trump. It could be his penchant for raising money.

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David Taub

Politics 101

In perhaps his last campaign financial report, the now-former Central Valley congressman reported having $11 million cash on hand.

Nunes, R-Tulare, resigned Jan. 1 to operate the Trump Media & Technology Group as CEO. He was in the middle of his 10th term, first elected in 2002. A special election to fill California’s District 22 seat is scheduled for April 5.

A source close to Nunes tells Politics 101 he plans to sit on the cash this election cycle, and perhaps disperse it in 2024 or later. It wouldn’t be prudent, the source said, to spend political money given his new position.

Also in Politics 101

  • Incumbent congressional candidates raise the most.
  • A look at Fresno City Council fundraising.
  • Fresno County has nearly $200 million to spend in federal relief aid.

Incumbents Lead the Way

Incumbents for Central Valley congressional seats are the fundraising leaders.

In Congressional District 5, Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, has more than 2.5 times cash on hand than fellow Republican challenger Nathan Magsig, R-Clovis. As one political observer pointed out to Politics 101, McClintock has been in Congress for nearly 14 years and those are not good figures for a veteran like that. Magsig’s figures represent three weeks’ effort in December.

David Valadao, R-Hanford, has a 5-to-1 advantage over the top Democrat in the race, Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, in CD 22. Another Republican, Chris Matys, R-Firebaugh raised more than Salas, although that includes a $300,000 self-loan.

In the CD 22 special election to replace Nunes, Elizabeth Heng, R-Fresno, has the most money on paper. But, she also has the largest debt of the candidates at $80,000. Connie Conway, R-Tulare, the former Assembly minority leader, entered the race after the reporting period.

There is no incumbent for CD 13. Phil Arballo, D-Fresno, has the most cash on hand. Adam Gray, D-Merced, entered the race too late to report any figures.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, has yet to draw a main challenger in his race. He reports $1.1 million cash on hand. Lourin Hubbard, D-Fresno, says he will run in the race and also the special CD 22 election. He has $10,000 cash on hand, but more in debt.

Congressional Fundraising Figures

District Candidate 4th Quarter 2021 2021-22 Total Cash on Hand Debt
5 Tom McClintock (R)* $197,014 $734,353 $372,569 $6,174
5 Nathan Magsig (R) $145,700 $145,700 $138,749 $0
13 Phil Arballo (D) $314,005 $1.1M $467,519 $0
13 David Giglio (R) $150,416 $691,945 $452,533 $180,290
13 Adam Gray (D) n/a n/a n/a n/a
21 Jim Costa (D)* $225,903 $1.2M $1.1M $4,913
22 David Valadao (R)* $470,322 $1.7M $1.3M $0
22 Chris Mathys (R) $8,399 $331,908 $298,258 $550,000
22 Rudy Salas (D) $218,077 $218,077 $204,585 $0
22 Bryan Osorio (D) $45,644 $146,860 $72,344 $0
22 Adam Medeiros (R) $29,990 $31,390 $51,390 $20,000
22 (special) Elizabeth Heng (R) $14,440 $137,983 $36,635 $80,805
22 (special) Lourin Hubbard (D) $5,394 $48,346 $10,000 $17,735
22 (special) Eric Garcia (D) $23,842 $190,775 $2,297 $0
22 (special) Michael Maher (R) n/a n/a n/a n/a
22 (special) Connie Conway (R) n/a n/a n/a n/a
X (old 22) Devin Nunes (R)* $380,291 $4.6M $11M $0
X (old 21) Nicole Parra (D) $37,780 $149,816 $77,927 $51,000
X (old 22) Andreas Borgeas (R) $43,605 $43,605 $42,786 $0

Source: Federal Election Commission. Through Dec. 31, 2021.
N/a: not available (reports not filed with FEC as of time of publication); x: candidate no longer running.

Perea Still in Fresno City Council Money Lead, but Catalano Catching Up

There is only one Fresno City Council race without an incumbent for the June 2022 election. Annalisa Perea continues to be tops on the leaderboard, but Cary Catalano is catching up.

Perea continues to have the most cash on hand, but Catalano outraised her in both the most recent reporting period and for 2021 as well. Perea raised a bulk of her money in 2020.

“I’m humbled by the early support and will continue to work hard to ensure I earn the trust, respect, and support of families all across District 1. Our ‘win plan’ is in full effect and we’re on track for a victorious outcome,” Perea said in a statement.

Catalano is happy with his take.

“For the second reporting period in a row, our campaign has out fundraised my opponents with good old-fashioned grit rather than pay to play politics. We are proud of the work we have done and will continue to work as diligently as we have over the past year to earn the trust and vote of the residents in District 1,” Catalano said.

Jeremy Preis raised a modest sum in comparison. Mike Briggs has not officially filed paperwork to raise funds.

Other City Council Races

Voters in three other districts will elect councilmembers as well. These areas have incumbents seeking re-election.

District 3 Councilman Miguel Arias has $93,962 cash on hand. Larry Burrus, who ran against Arias in 2018, pulled preliminary papers to run.

In District 5, Luis Chavez has a pot of $162,772. A potential challenger, Brandon Vang, pulled preliminary papers as well.

Nelson Esparza, running in District 7, reports $165,418 cash on hand.

“We’ve transformed this Council and done a lot of great work over the last several years,” Esparza said in a news release. “But far too many Fresno residents continue to struggle and lack the economic opportunities to get ahead. It has been an honor to serve the communities of District 7 and I am prepared to continue working on their behalf.”

The remaining city councilmembers do not face 2022 elections, but still had to update their financial figures. District 6 Councilman Garry Bredefeld has the most cash on hand with $242,029.

City Fundraising Figures

District Candidate 2nd Half 2021 2021 Total Cash on Hand Debt
1 Annalisa Perea (D) $93,628 $179,207 $247,187 $13,157
1 Cary Catalano (D) $98,073 $209,476 $127,131 $3,951
1 Jeremy Preis (R) $100 $7,128 $1,712 $250
1 Esmeralda Soria (D)*
(termed out)
$0 $0 $24,39 $1,258
2 Mike Karbassi (D)* $0 $5,400 $4,920 $1,000
3 Miguel Arias (D)* $41,250 $118,509 $93,962 $1,182
4 Tyler Maxwell (D)* $9,600 $71,640 $24,296 $982
5 Luis Chavez (D)* $83,050 $160,650 $162,772 $188
6 Garry Bredefeld (R)* $0 $0 $242,029 $0
7 Nelson Esparza (D)* $113,827 $177,127 $165,418 $377
Mayor Jerry Dyer (R)* $2,885 $72,551 $60,129 $0

Source: City of Fresno. Through Dec. 31, 2021.

County Has Federal Funding Plan

The Fresno County Board of Supervisors discussed a preliminary spending plan for $194 million of federal relief funds. Funds could be dispersed by November, according to a timeline presented by staff.

The supervisors have generally split spending five ways — $112.5 million for public health and economic impacts; $37.4 million for various public projects; $18.7 million for infrastructure;$15.4 premium pay for county essential workers; and $10 million for lost revenue.

COVID mitigation would receive the most funding, at $43.5 million.

More details can be found here.

Another county discussion is scheduled for May.

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

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