Just over one month after the congressional primaries landed Republican Gary DeLong and Democratic State Senator Alan Lowenthal on November’s ballot for the new 47th Congressional District, the latest fundraising reports solidify DeLong’s monetary lead.
The June 30 fundraising totals, which were released via email today, show that DeLong has raised $857,708 while Lowenthal has raised $509,903. These numbers include about $316,000 and $216,000 cash-on-hand, respectively.
DeLong’s current totals are nearly double what they were in May’s Pre-Primary campaign report, despite the fact that Lowenthal received a larger percentage of the vote in the June 5 primary.
“Gary had to spend over three times as much to come in second place in one of the lowest election turnouts…,” says Alan Lowenthal campaign consultant Mike Shimpock. “If that holds, he’ll have to spend four to five times as much to beat Alan in November.”
Money does not directly translate into votes, but it does help in spreading a candidate’s message and can reflect community support, according to Bill Christiansen, Gary DeLong’s Campaign Manager. This proves extra crucial in open and newly redistricted areas such as the wildly diverse 47th Congressional District, which stretches from Long Beach to Little Saigon.
“It’s not a direct one for one [dollar for vote],” says Christiansen, “but you want to raise enough money to get your message to enough people in the district. Having a monetary advantage just helps us get the message out there.”
Christiansen also says that DeLong’s fundraising success—which includes more than 1000 individual contributors—owes itself as much to the last nine to ten months of events as it does to his phone skills.
“Gary does a lot of phone calls…he’s on his cell phone constantly,” says Christiansen. “My theory is if I can get Gary to make 150,000 phone calls he’d win the election, but unfortunately, he can’t do that.”
Shimpock noted that State Senator Lowenthal has been taking care of State business full-time, which affects the candidate’s time on the ground campaigning.
This November, Lowenthal and DeLong will face off in the new 47th Congressional District, which includes most of Long Beach and portions of the communities of Avalon, Lakewood, Cypress, Los Alamitos, Garden Grove, Buena Park, Westminster, Rossmoor and Stanton.
Update: A previous version of this article quoted State Sen. Lowenthal’s campaign consultant Mike Shimpock as saying that in the primary election, “every other Republican across the state won.” According to Secretary of State records, however, only 21 Republicans won districts and all but four were incumbents.
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