Democratic challenger Jessica Morse outraised Republican Rep. Tom McClintock by a more than three-to-one margin as the two geared up for a general election clash in the 4th District congressional race.
McClintock, however, started July with slightly more money in the bank.
The five-term incumbent raised $112,000 in the six-week span between May 17 and June 30, a fraction of the $392,000 that Morse, a first-time candidate, raised. It’s the fourth quarter in a row that Morse has outraised McClintock, who has not faced a competitive challenge since being elected to Congress in 2008.
Morse’s financial success could change that. The district, which runs along the Sierra Nevada mountains in eastern California, is one of the state’s most conservative. But political forecasters now consider the race competitive — although McClintock is still favored — due to the political climate and Democrats’ fundraising success (paired with the incumbent’s lackluster performance).
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In total, the Elk Grove Republican has raised $1.2 million for his 2018 reelection campaign, second lowest among any of the targeted House Republicans in the state. Only scandal-plagued Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego County has raised less. Morse has raised $1.5 million.
Morse, a former budget analyst as the State Department and U.S. Agency of International Development, came in the second in California’s “top two” primary on June 2, with 20 percent of the vote, beating out fellow Democrat Regina Bateson, an MIT professor, and three other would-be challengers. McClintock placed first with 52 percent.
McClintock started the general election campaign slightly ahead in cash. As of July 1, McClintock had $671,000 in cash on hand while Morse reported $536,000.