Capitol Alert

Republican Rocky Chávez off to sluggish start in U.S. Senate race


California Assemblyman Rocky Chávez, the only announced Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, has gotten off to a slow fundraising start, bringing in less than 1/2 of a percent of the total taken in by Democrat Kamala Harris.

Harris, the state attorney general, raised $2.53 million in the first three months of the year, finishing with $2.25 million on hand as of March 31, according to figures released by her campaign last week and made available to the public by the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday.

Listed among Harris’ top supporters were luminaries from Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Washington. Some 5,000 contributions were in amounts of $100 or less.

Chávez, a retired Marine colonel from Oceanside, entered the race in early March and brought in just $12,030, concluding the period with $4,967. A spokesman said the campaign was just getting started and mentioned an upcoming even with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

“Col. Chávez is receiving a lot of support around the state,” spokesman Justin Glover said. “People are engaging with his message which brings Californians together on issues like national security and education.”

“We’ve received the support of farmers, winegrape growers, cattlemen, builders and contractors, financial institutions, manufacturers, education leaders, and professionals in the medical, biotech and defense sectors,” Glover added. “We expect that Col. Chavez’s support will continue to grow.”

While Harris remains the lone Democrat in the race, several members of Congress have signaled they are looking closely at the seat being vacated by Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff of Burbank, Xavier Becerra of Los Angeles, Loretta Sanchez of Santa Ana and John Garamendi of Walnut Grove each has said they are weighing runs. As of the last quarter, Schiff had $2.1 million, Becerra $1.3 million, Sanchez $540,000 and Garamendi $200,000.

Call Christopher Cadelago, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @ccadelago.