Oil companies, unions, hospitals and other political special interests have pumped more than $31.4 million into California statewide and legislative contests on the Nov. 4 ballot, state independent expenditure filings through Wednesday show.
Four of the top-five contests in outside spending are nonpartisan races or feature candidates of the same party: superintendent of public instruction ($9.95 million for or against Marshall Tuck and Tom Torlakson in the nonpartisan race), the Sacramento-based 6th Senate District ($2.65 million for or against Democrats Richard Pan and Roger Dickinson), Los Angeles’ 64th Assembly District ($1.6 million for or against Democrats Prophet Walker and Mike Gipson) and Riverside County’s 28th Senate District ($1.44 million for or against Republicans Bonnie Garcia and Jeff Stone.)
Other Sacramento-area contests also have attracted significant outside spending. In the Sacramento-West Sacramento 7th Assembly District race between Democrats Steve Cohn and Kevin McCarty, independent groups reported spending almost $229,000 through Wednesday. In the Sacramento-to-Lodi 9th Assembly District contest between Democrats Jim Cooper and Darrell Fong, outside spending tops $975,000.
The chart below shows the contests that have had the most independent expenditures.
Never miss a local story.
The total outside spending this fall already far exceeds independent expenditures leading up to the June 3 primary election, with still nearly two weeks to go before the Nov. 4 ballot.
Through Wednesday, the top independent spending committees are Parents and Teachers for Tuck for State Superintendent 2014 ($7.5 million); Charles Munger Jr.’s Spirit of Democracy California ($1.9 million); the business-backed California Alliance for Progress and Education ($1.8 million); union-sponsored Working Families for Solorio Senate 2014 ($1.6 million); and the California Teachers Association-led Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction 2014 ($1.56 million).
Call Jim Miller, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5521. Follow him on Twitter @jimmiller2.
Find the races you’ll vote on and learn about the candidates’ views on the issues. Create a customized ballot and save your picks.
Find the legislative and congressional candidates who speak to your point of view with our new interactive feature.
Track the money in California legislative races and learn more about the districts. For even more detail, including daily updates on individual contributions and independent expenditures, subscribe to the Capitol Alert Insider app in your app store.