From left, Congresswoman Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, Angela Underwood Jacobs, Mark Cripe, Suzette Martinez Valladares, who is no longer running, and Mike Garcia. The success Hill has had in fundraising nationally has changed the game for the candidates in the 25th Congressional District race, according to her challengers.

Outside money dominates race for 25th

By Perry Smith

Signal Managing Editor

A review of recently filed campaign finance reports indicate the 25th Congressional District is on track to have another multimillion-dollar congressional race, with a majority of the money so far — at least, with respect to reportable, trackable money — coming from outside the district.

With the recent reporting of fundraising tallies for the second quarter reporting period, The Signal looked at each of the candidates and broke down the reportable financial contributions for the first six months of the 2019-2020 election cycle.

(The Signal also discussed fundraising from the candidates’ perspectives.)

The incumbent, Rep. Katie Hill

Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, was once again the lead fundraiser in the 25th Congressional District race by a large margin, bringing in a total of $1.3 million for the period of January to June.

If outside reach is important, the perks of incumbent status, which have included a shout-out from high-profile peers like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, who used social media to exhort her constituents to give to Hill, have certainly helped.

Hill raised approximately $792,000 in itemized contributions, in addition to about $330,100 in political action committee contributions that were predominantly trade unions, party-affiliated organizations and donations from her congressional peers’ groups. 

She also raised $202,524 in unitemized individual contributions, meaning she received the donations in amounts less than $200, which did not require disclosure. (This does not include money that’s donated through online “conduits,” such as Act Blue or Win Red, which are required to be reported as individual, itemized contributions, per FEC officials.)

Of the reportable individual contributions in the $792,000, roughly $98,089 came from out of state.

Of the $792,000 in reportable, itemized contributions in the campaign’s recent disclosure to the FEC, just under $34,000 — approximately 4% — came from addresses registered in the 25th Congressional District, which includes the Antelope, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys. The largest geographic block of financial support for Hill was in the Los Angeles area, based on donations that met the FEC’s address-disclosure criteria. (The FEC does not require candidates to disclose where the small-dollar donations come from.)
And comparing Southern California (excluding ZIP codes in the 25th, everything south of Tehachapi) to Northern California (including, for the purposes of this report, everything from Tehachapi to just north of the Bay Area), Hill’s support was $504,090 in Southern California and $156,087 from Northern California.

Hill’s approximate haul of $330,100 from committees ranged in trade unions from the Airline Pilots Association to PACs like the Women’s Political Committee, among the nearly 170 groups that donated, each averaging almost $1,950 per donation.

GOP Challengers

Mike Garcia 

Mike Garcia, an executive for Raytheon, led the Republicans in cash raised for the first six months of the 2019-20 election cycle, aided largely by a loan to himself that was nearly half of his total cash-on-hand amount of $250,257. 

His total in campaign contributions, excluding his $125,000 loan to himself, came to a total of $125,257, and $107,000 of that came in itemized, individual contributions on the recently released FEC fundraising reports. 

Of Garcia’s individual contributions, which totaled $117,864 — about $38,000 of it came from the 25th Congressional District, with all of that amount registered to addresses in the Santa Clarita Valley, per the FEC’s recently released reports. Garcia raised $57,106 from the rest of California, with all but $500 of it coming from the southern portion of the state (Long Beach to about Ventura County).

Garcia also raised about $11,350 from out-of-state contributors, which came to 9.6% of his total.  

He raised an additional $10,915 in unitemized contributions, which applies to certain donations less than $200.

Under “Other Committee Contributions,” Garcia raised $7,393 with nearly half ($3,393) of that coming from the bipartisan With Honor PAC, a veteran-focused group that gave approximately $123,000 to both Democratic and Republican party candidates in 2018 — close to $250,000 total, per opensecrets.org. The other $4,000 came in $2,000 increments from Friends of Buck McKeon and Gallegly for Congress, a PAC operated by retired congressman Elton Gallegly, who was a longtime McKeon ally as the Republican representative of the several districts that were western neighbors of the Santa Clarita Valley from 1987 to 2013. McKeon served as a Republican representative of the 25th Congressional District from 1993 to 2015.

Angela Underwood Jacobs

Angela Underwood Jacobs, a Lancaster city councilwoman, is one of two challengers in the 25th Congressional District race whose itemized, individual contributions in the FEC fundraising reports show support from mostly inside the 25th Congressional District.

Underwood Jacobs raised a total of $121,624, which included $114,799 in itemized, individual contributions. Of those itemized donations to her campaign on the FEC fundraising report, $78,399 came from addresses registered inside the boundaries of the 25th Congressional District — 60 of them, which averaged out to approximately $1,328 per donation.

The rest of the itemized contributions from California, about $26,250 worth, came from Southern California, with the exception of a $250 donation from Fremont. She also raised $5,000 in out-of-state funds. 

Underwood Jacobs’ committee funding totaled $3,649, which was all from campaign funds from Antelope Valley candidates. She had a similar amount, $3,176, in unitemized donations less than $200.

Suzette Martinez Valladares

Suzette Martinez Valladares, CEO of the preschool Little Steps of Faith, raised approximately $20,195 in the past six months, according to her FEC disclosure form. Of that money, $15,170 came via 17 itemized individual contributions. She raised an additional $5,025 in unitemized individual contributions 

Valladares raised $5,070 of her total campaign haul from addresses in the 25th Congressional District. She collected an additional $6,350 from several addresses in Southern California, and an additional $1,500 in donations from the Bakersfield and Salinas areas.

She also did not have any funds listed as loans or committee contributions.

Mark Cripe

Mark Cripe, a sergeant with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, can also say most of his campaign contributions came from inside the 25th Congressional District. 

Cripe raised a total of $15,410 in the first six months of the year, according to FEC disclosures. Of that, $10,600 came from addresses registered inside the 25th, most of it from the Antelope Valley — $2,300 of which come from out-of-state funding sources, per the FEC.

Cripe raised an additional $1,510 in unitemized, individual donations.

Cripe also did not have any loans or committee contributions listed on his campaign finance forms.

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