The race between then-candidate Josh Harder and former Congressman Jeff Denham set new fundraising records for District 10 in 2018, with the pair combining to spend nearly $13.5 million on their respective campaigns. While it still remains to be seen if the 2020 race will touch those numbers, candidates are certainly making strides toward doing so.
Spending just under $8.4 million on his campaign to flip the district from red to blue last election worked out in Harder’s favor, and so far, the freshman congressman is working toward another ceiling-shattering fundraising campaign for 2020. Harder’s campaign for reelection has raised over $1.6 million since Jan. 1, with $1.3 million on hand.
In the second quarter alone, Harder’s campaign has raised $750,000. The deadline for candidates to report second quarter fundraising numbers to the Federal Election Commission is July 15, though both Harder and his Republican challenger Ted Howze shared how much they’ve raised so far with the Courier.
There are three other Republicans running against Harder as well — Charles Dossett, Marla Sousa Livengood and Bob Elliot — who did not respond to requests for fundraising numbers before the time of publication. All fundraising efforts will be published by the FEC on Monday.
According to Harder’s campaign, over 80 percent of his contributions were under $100 and came from 4,000 people.
“It’s my honor to have the support of over 4,000 actual people — and zero corporate PACs,” Harder said in a statement. “Folks from across the Central Valley have sent a clear message that they would rather have a representative working for the people than corrupt private interests.”
Across the aisle, Howze has raised $108,000 in the second quarter, which brings his campaign’s cash-on-hand total to $675,000. According to Howze, 98 percent of his campaign’s donations have come from within District 10. The reported fundraising numbers from his Democratic opponent don’t scare him, he said.
“The attention on fundraising is all put on by political insiders and pundits,” Howze said. “The reality is none of that in the end sways voters; personally-contacted messages are what’s going to win the election.”
Howze argued that much of Harder’s donations have come from outside of District 10. Harder’s campaign couldn’t provide numbers for how much of his fundraising has come from within the district on Tuesday, but stated more data would be available come next week.
“That brings up his biggest weakness — he has no real, grassroots support in the 10th Congressional District,” Howze said. “We’re very confident and in great shape with the numbers we’re sitting on right now.”
While it’s unclear how much of Harder’s funding has come from District 10, Republican Howze has hosted fundraisers in Turlock and Modesto locations, while Harder has organized events in cities like San Jose and San Francisco.
Second quarter reports for all candidates’ fundraising efforts will be published on the FEC website come Monday. For numbers on fundraising so far, visit https://www.fec.gov/data/elections/house/CA/10/2020/.