California Controller John Chiang is expected to handily win a transfer to the state treasurer’s office Nov. 4, six months after he finished 17 percentage points ahead of Republican businessman Greg Conlon, who has raised almost no money in recent weeks.
Chiang’s campaign, though, has been collecting cash as if he’s facing a much tougher race. From Aug. 1 through Tuesday, Chiang had raised $356,000 – on top of the $2.5 million he had in the bank June 30. Among candidates on the Nov. 4 ballot, only Gov. Jerry Brown leads Chiang in contributions since the beginning of August, state records show. Conlon has raised only $4,500 since Aug. 1, and had just $7,000 on hand June 30.
Chiang consultant Parke Skelton noted that Chiang is running for a new office and California elections are expensive. And although Conlon has almost no money, Skelton said the Chiang campaign has to be ready in case Chiang is targeted by outside spending groups, as he was in the weeks leading up to his first campaign for controller in fall 2006.
“It’s not about the opponent as much as it is the electoral environment,” Skelton said. “We’re looking at historically low turnout. He’s raising a lot of money but in the context of what it takes to run a statewide raceit’s still not a huge amount of money.”
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The finance and real-estate sector comprise the largest piece of Chiang fundraising through Tuesday, with organized labor close behind. On the giving side of the ledger, Chiang campaign committees have donated about $10,000 to party and candidate committees since January 2013, records show.