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Congressional race shaping up to be a big money affair

Posted: April 18, 2014 6:31 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2014 6:31 p.m.

Money for candidates on both sides of the aisle has poured in during recent months for the race to represent the 25th District, including the Santa Clarita Valley, in Congress — setting the stage for a big-money showdown in the upcoming June primary.

Eight candidates have signed on in the race to succeed longtime Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, who is retiring after more than 20 years in Congress.
McKeon’s district, the 25th, encompasses the Santa Clarita Valley and portions of the Antelope and Simi valleys.

Early fundraising leader
The biggest fundraiser in the recent filing period, which covered Jan. 1 to March 31, is former state Sen. Tony Strickland, a Republican who reported $410,889.88 in net contributions this period, giving him $882,032.88 in the election cycle to date.

“I’m very excited about how well we did,” Strickland said this week of the numbers. “I’m very enthusiastic at not only the financial support that we received, but the support we’ve heard when we’re out in the community as well.”

He also reported $656,188 in cash on hand.

Strickland said the donations pouring in, as well as the war chest he has built up, give him the flexibility to campaign in a broad fashion.

“It says that we have a wide breadth of support and we’re going to be able to wage our campaign in every medium possible,” he said.

Raising funds
Also reporting robust fundraising totals for this period is Democrat and unsuccessful 2012 candidate Lee Rogers, who tallied $202,752.17 in net contributions in this filing period, giving him $523,344.50 in the election cycle to date.

That means Rogers has already surpassed his fundraising total from the 2012 campaign he waged against McKeon.

“During your second run you have more credibility as a candidate, and there was no real start-up for me. I already knew what I was doing,” Rogers said Friday. “You also already have a donor base from the last cycle.”
Rogers also reported $261,297.25 in ending cash on hand.

“My job is to show people who I am and what I stand for,” Rogers said of the primary.

Another notable fundraiser so far is state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, who reported $88,897 in net contributions this filing period, giving him $110,785 so far in the campaign.

Knight also reported $96,746.10 in cash on hand and $19,417.36 in outstanding debts and obligations.

Saugus resident Troy Castagna, who is running as a Republican, reported $41,265 in net contributions since Jan. 1, FEC filings show.

“I’m happy that we’ve been able to raise that money and I’m confident we’ll be able to get my name out there and show people there’s an alternative to the career politicians that are running,” Castagna said Friday.

He also reported $91,654 in outstanding debts and obligations and $110,335.21 in ending cash on hand.

Evan Thomas, a Lancaster resident who is running as a Democrat, reported $9,570 in contributions in the latest filing period and $1,233 in ending cash on hand.

Other candidates
The other candidates running in the 25th Congressional District did not have current financial figures on file with the FEC as of Friday.

Porter Ranch resident and Republican Navraj Singh has not filed any disclosures throughout this campaign cycle.
Two other candidates — Stevenson Ranch resident and Libertarian David Bruce and no-party-preference candidate Michael Mussack — also did not have financial filings on record with the FEC as of Friday.

The primary election for the seat is June 3.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney




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