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Campaign Money: Who Raised What So Far for Congress, Local Elections

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A look at the latest campaign fundraising figures for Congress and local races. (GV Wire Composite/Paul Marshall)
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The latest campaign financial figures revealed that incumbents almost always have the fundraising advantage.

That is especially true for candidates running for Congress. In an expected contested race, Rep. David Valadao, R-Hanford, led all metrics tracked by GV Wire — amount raised for the quarter, total raised, and cash on hand.

Valadao raised more than $2 million for the year 2023, and nearly $1.5 million cash on hand. On paper, right-wing challenger Chris Mathys, R-Firebaugh, raised more than $330,000 — however, almost all of it is a loan to himself.

Former Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, raised more than a half-million for 2023. He has the support of the state Democratic Party and the DCCC. Another Democrat in the race, Bakersfield state Sen. Melissa Hurtado, reported raising nearly $64,000 for the year.

Incumbents also lead in the other districts — Jim Costa, D-Fresno in CD 21 ($858,000 raised in 2023); John Duarte, R-Modesto ($2 million raised in 2023); and Tom McClintock, R-Roseville ($533,000 raised in 2023).

In the open CD 20 seat — covering parts of Kern, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties — Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, R-Springville, raised the most money at $162,000. Most candidates did not start until December, when former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, declined to run for re-election and vacated the seat by the end of the year.

Kyle Kirkland, R-Clovis, raised $120,000, but that includes a $100,000 loan to himself.

McCarthy still posted fundraising numbers, collecting $16 million for 2023. He spent $2.5 million. As Speaker, he was expected to raise money for the party and other candidates.

Former congressman Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, also posted numbers, even though he resigned at the end of 2021. Nunes posted raising $1 million, although according to his financial documents, that is nearly all from “performance value adjustment” from Edward Jones Investments.

Campaign Finance fundraising (GV Wire/Paul Marshall)

Opponent Outraises Karbassi

On the local front, a surprising result saw political newcomer Matthew Gillian outraise incumbent Mike Karbassi for the Fresno City Council District 2 race. The district covers much of northwest Fresno.

Gillian reported raising $39,000 for the fourth quarter in 2023, and $61,670 through Jan. 20. Karbassi reported $25,300 and $32,050 respectively.

However, Karbassi has more cash on hand — $91,718 to $51,594.

In a message to GV Wire, Karbassi indicated he is not concerned, saying his campaign is “firing on all cylinders.”

In the open District 6 race — representing northeast Fresno — attorney Roger Bonakdar leads in all categories. He has $314,018 cash on hand. Banker Raj Sodhi-Layne is next with $45,377 cash on hand.

In the county, Fresno City Councilmember Garry Bredefeld is the money king trying to upend District 2 Supervisor Steve Brandau. Bredefeld posted $644,000 raised through Jan. 20, with $476,000 cash on hand.

However, Bredefeld’s totals include nearly $230,000 transferred from his prior city council account, and $110,000 in loans. Bredefeld and Luis Chavez — running for Supervisor District 3 — litigated with the county and won, giving them the right to transfer funds beyond the $30,000 fundraising limit the county set.

Chavez posted nearly $105,000 raised through Jan. 20, although most of that was transferred from his city council account. Incumbent Sal Quintero raised $123,000 through Jan. 20. Quintero also has about $30,000 more cash on hand than Chavez.

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