Capitol Alert

Presidential hopefuls hit up California, Sacramento-area donors

Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, left, and Jeb Bush talk during a break during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio, left, and Jeb Bush talk during a break during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Associated Press

Next November’s presidential election will be drama-free in California, where voters have solidly preferred Democrats in the White House for more than 25 years.

Candidates of both parties, though, are on a more equal footing in the Golden State when it comes to campaign cash, according to the latest round of filings with the Federal Election Commission.

Individual donors in California gave more than $25 million to the leading Republican and Democratic contenders from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, filings due Oct. 15 show. The total reflects itemized contributions of at least $200.

Sacramento-area donors have been among those giving, although the region’s donations of about $545,000 to the leading candidates represents about 2 percent of those candidates’ statewide total. Donors in select Sacramento and Rocklin ZIP codes led the region.

The candidate raising the most California money is Democrat Hillary Clinton, whose campaign committee, Hillary for America, collected $13.3 million in itemized individual contributions in the first nine months of the year. That is more than five times the California fundraising totals of Republicans Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and Democrat Bernie Sanders.

What the candidates raised for their own campaign committees, though, sometimes is dwarfed by the donations to allied super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money as long as they stay independent of the candidates’ campaigns.

Through June, the leading presidential candidates’ allied super PACs had collected almost $30 million from California donors. Of that total, the Bush-allied Right to Rise super PAC had collected $12.4 million and the pro-Clinton Priorities USA had raised about $9.3 million.

Priorities USA raised $750,000 through June from Sacramento-area donors, the most of any Super PAC, records show.

The Sacramento Bee’s Data Tracker is a weekly feature that offers a deeper look at the numbers behind today’s news.

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