Young Guns Take Aim

Erica HollowayErica Holloway 7 Comments


As cross-posted on FlashReport.

Seems the young guns got it going on.

In just 25 days of the first reporting period for the 2012 San Diego mayor’s race, two young Republican candidates blew doors on the established competition with more than $300,000 cash on hand. Early predictors felt sure the mayoral primary would be a $1 million race. At this rate, we might be looking at $1.5 million.

Late Monday, it was reported that Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher raised $320,000 between June 5 and June 30, with a $1,000 personal contribution. San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio tipped the scales at $274,000, which he matched dollar-for-dollar for a grand total of $545,000. By contract, current Mayor Jerry Sander’s candidate, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, raised $157,000, which included a $10,000 personal loan.

Accounting for expenses, DeMaio leads the pack with $450,000 cash on hand, and Fletcher follows with about $300,000. Dumanis reports about $138,000 in the bank, which had been circulating in rumor mills for weeks as her campaign remained mum on her totals. But city hall reporter Liam Dillon calculates her below the $100,000 mark.

Dumanis replied to Dillon’s question of her tepid showing to the Voice of San Diego saying: “Raising a lot of money isn’t a substitute for experience.”

With political heavy weights in Dumanis’ corner, including Sanders, Sheriff Bill Gore and a sizable chunk of the downtown business establishment, it leaves one to wonder why someone with so much experience isn’t killing it on the money front.

Though formidable, the downtown business folks are a fickle lot. They’ll invest where money seems best spent and right now, she’s looking weak especially after the rather unceremonious firing of her Republican campaign manager for a less conservative day-to-day manager in a fairly liberal camp. I wonder at the logic of swinging so far left in a city that, despite it’s “blue dog” high-propensity voting block, tends to elect moderate Republican mayors.

Of the three, Fletcher needed to make a real dent in the endorsement and financial support arena to prove viability to a voting block fairly unfamiliar with him. He’s also hanging out in the middle ground to squabble over the center-left and undecided voters over issues like gay marriage, Healthy Families and collective bargaining. That leaves the center-right territory firmly in DeMaio’s wheelhouse.

The one big name Democrat in the race, Congressman Bob Filner, reported just over $104,000 – which seems on par with what’s to be expected with a packed Republican field. At this point, his biggest worry would be seeing another Democrat, like former city Councilwoman Donna Frye, jump in and really muck up the works.

Pundits and poliwonks around town wondered these last few weeks whether the Dumanis bid can last to next June. It’s early in the marathon, but it’s a valid concern given camp instability and funding issues.

One thing’s for sure: the young guns marched onto the field ready for battle.

– Follow me @erica_holloway.


Comments 7

  1. Post

    Alger and Voltaire:

    Interesting thoughts.

    Perhaps Fletcher’s odd increase were Frye to jump in regardless of Dumanis.



  2. Erica,

    I agree. Dumanis dropping out of and/or Frye getting into the race would be of benefit to Fletcher.

  3. Why should she drop out, she’s got much more name recognition than either DeMaio or Fletcher and didn’t need to raise massive sums to show viability.

    I know Bonnie doesn’t walk away from a fight either. If anything, this will just anger her and get her to double down.

  4. Bonnie – won’t drop out.

    I know if I were a number of Democratic Lawyers I would be looking at that lack of support by the legal community and thinking….

    “Wow…if she can only raise this much I wonder if a well financed campaign in 2014 might work….”

    District Attorney Aguirre. Now THAT is a thought that is enough to get one to leave early on Friday and get to happy hour.

  5. Dumanis has not been in a competitive election since she was first elected District Attorney and that race was a referendum on the incumbent, Paul Pfingst. Time will tell if she is ready for a tough, nasty fight and whether she wants to do the hard work necessary to win this election.

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