Elections

California candidates and PACs spent more than $1 billion on 2018 races, study says

California candidates and political action committees spent more than $1 billion on 2018 political races, according to data from the nonpartisan California Target Book.

The $1.033 billion total equals roughly $50 spent for each registered voter in the state, California Target Book research director Rob Pyers wrote in a news release.

More than $366 million was spent on the state’s 11 propositions. Opponents of Proposition 8 spent $111 million trying to dissuade voters from regulating dialysis payments, while opponents of Proposition 10 spent $75 million against the rent control initiative.

U.S. House of Representatives races totaled about $307 million, led by $35 million between Republican Young Kim and Democrat Gil Cisneros in Orange County’s 39th Congressional District. Rep. Dana Rohrbacher and challenger Harley Rouda were right behind at $33 million for the neighboring 48th Congressional District.

PACs spent more on the Superintendent of Public Instruction seat than the seven other statewide positions combined. Outside contributors pitched in $54 million to elect Marshall Tuck or Tony Thurmond, both Democrats, while spending a mere $38 million on the governor’s race.

In the Central Valley, Jeff Denham and Josh Harder’s race for the 10th Congressional District seat cost $25 million, while Tom McClintock and Jessica Morse’s race for the 4th Congressional District east of Sacramento cost $5.4 million.

State Assembly candidates and PACs spent a combined $114 million on 80 races, headlined by $5.5 million between incumbent Democrat Rudy Salas and challenger Justin Mendes in AD-32 near Bakersfield.

National races are expected to generate much more than the $3.84 billion spent in 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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