Represent!

Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Election 2014: Kashkari's $1 million leads state's self-funded candidates

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Republican Neel Kashkari donated $1 million to his campaign for California governor, leading a list of 16 candidates for state office who have plowed at least $100,000 of personal wealth into their campaigns.

The figures measure personal donations through May 14, according to data compiled by the nonpartisan research organization MapLight from the California Secretary of State. The primary election is Tuesday, and the top two candidates in each race advance to the November general election.

About one-third of Kashkari's $2.9 million campaign chest came from his own accounts.

RELATED: KPCC's MyBallot voters guide for the 2014 primary elections

In other statewide races, Secretary of State candidate Derek Cressman donated nearly $354,000 to his campaign, and Republican Diane Harkey donated  $105,000 to her Board of Equalization campaign.

Some of the biggest spenders are running in open Southern California legislative races, using personal wealth to buy the advertising and campaign help needed to bootstrap themselves into the top two to secure a spot on the November ballot.

Big Bear Lake Mayor Jay Obernolte, a Republican, invested $241,000 in his race to succeed Assemblyman Tim Donnelly in the San Bernardino mountains and High Desert  33rd District. Donnelly is running for governor in a close contest with Kashkari against Governor Brown in the primary.

Democrat Simona Farrise, a civil rights attorney, put $210,000 into her campaign for the Inglewood area 62nd Assembly District. She is poised to land in the top-two alongside fellow Democrat Autumn Burke, daughter of former longtime county supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.

The 55th Assembly race has attracted generous self-financing from three Republican candidates. Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang donated $206,000, businessman Phillip Chen put up $150,000 and Diamond Bar Councilman Steve Tye put in $101,500. Each wants onto the general election ballot to succeed Curt Hagman in a Republican district that includes Yorba Linda and parts of Orange, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.

Two Democrats reached deep into their own pockets to fund their campaigns for the coastal cities 26th Senate district to succeed Sen. Ted Lieu, who is running for Congress. Manhattan Beach Mayor Amy Howorth put in $200,000 and social justice attorney Sandra Fluke put in $120,000.

Downey Mayor Mario Guerra, a Republican, has put $100,000 into his campaign for the Whittier-area 32nd Senate District, an area that has been represented by indicted state Sen. Ron Calderon.

On the local level, former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Shriver ties with Kashkari, donating $1 million of personal funds into his campaign for Los Angeles County Supervisor, according to his most recent campaign report.

 

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