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7 things we learned from the Inland political campaign finance reports

By in Press Enterprise on February 13, 2018

By Jeff Horseman

There’s more than numbers in a politician’s campaign finance disclosure report.

The legally required forms are a road map for where candidates for elected office get their money and how they spend it.

They’re also an imperfect measure of a candidate’s strength. The more money candidates raise – or appear to raise – the more viable their candidacy looks to rivals, potential donors and outside groups looking to intervene in competitive races.

A new round of reports came out at the end of January. Here’s a look at what the reports say about races for Inland offices at the county, state and congressional level.

V. Manuel Perez (Stan Lim, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

1. DESERT $$$ PROVING PLENTIFUL

It rarely rains in the Coachella Valley – except when it comes to the campaign cash pouring into the race for the Fourth District seat on the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor V. Manuel Perez and challenger Jan Harnik raised more than $945,000 combined in 2017. Perez took in more than $552,000 while Harnik, a Palm Desert city councilwoman, raised almost $393,000.

A former Democratic assemblyman who was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown in May to serve out the unexpired term of the late Supervisor John Benoit, Perez is courting Democratic support in his bid for a full four-year term representing a district that stretches from the Coachella Valley to Blythe.

Republicans are rallying around Harnik, who has the endorsement of Benoit’s widow and local GOP lawmakers.

2. 3 IN THE $100K CLUB

Big money also is flowing into the race for Riverside County’s Second District supervisorial seat being vacated by John Tavaglione.

Karen SpiegelKaren Spiegel

Three of the six candidates vying for the seat – Riverside City Councilman Mike Gardner, environmental activist Penny Newman and Corona Mayor Karen Spiegel – raised more than $100,000 last […]    

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