Northern California congressional candidates vie for cash | SierraSun.com

Northern California congressional candidates vie for cash

Associated Press

In one of California’s most contested House races, Republican candidate Tom McClintock had a much stronger fundraising quarter than his Democratic opponent Charlie Brown.

McClintock reported raising $978,000 during the three-month period ending Sept. 30, compared to $539,000 for Brown. But McClintock also spent more money and ended up with just $94,000 cash on-hand, compared to $457,000 cash on-hand for Brown.

McClintock and Brown are battling to replace GOP Rep. John Doolittle in the conservative 4th Congressional District that sprawls north and east of Sacramento. Doolittle will retire at the end of this year after getting caught up in a Capitol Hill lobbying scandal.

McClintock is a well-known conservative state senator representing Southern California while Brown, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, is making his second try for the seat after coming close to beating Doolittle in 2006.

The fundraising figures were reported Wednesday to the Federal Election Commission.

The contests in the 4th and the 11th districts are considered the most competitive in California, which has the nation’s most House seats ” 53 ” most of which are gerrymandered to guarantee re-election of the incumbent party. McNerney’s victory represented the only seat that changed party hands in 2006, leaving California’s congressional delegation split between 34 Democrats and 19 Republicans.

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However, as the nation’s economic crisis appears to turn the political climate more favorable for Democrats, Democratic party leaders ” who are better-funded than their Republican counterparts ” are adding more Republican-held seats in California to their lists of seats to watch. Just this week they put the 50th District contest between incumbent Republican Brian Bilbray and Democratic challenger Nick Leibham on their top target list.

Others they’re eyeing are the 3rd District held by Dan Lungren, the 45th District held by Mary Bono Mack, the 26th District held by David Dreier, and the 52nd District where Rep. Duncan Hunter is retiring and his son, Duncan D. Hunter, is the Republican candidate to replace him.