Outside funds lead 21st and 38th district races

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A review of the latest campaign finance numbers for the state Senate and Assembly districts that represent the Santa Clarita Valley indicate hundreds of thousands in funds raised have come from outside the districts. 

The California Secretary of State’s Office issued reports for money raised during the period of July 1 through Sept. 19, considered the semi-final report a campaign must file before the Nov. 3 election, and released total contributions since Jan. 1. 

21st Senate District 

In terms of contributions from July through September, Democratic workers’ rights attorney Kipp Mueller in the 21st Senate District race raised $23,000 more than incumbent State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita. 

Mueller raised $455,130 for the quarter of his $819,900 total raised since Jan. 1. Of the $455,000, about $405,000 came from political action committee contributions that were predominantly party-affiliated organizations and trade unions. 

Of the reportable $455,130, the largest geographic blocks of financial support came from Sacramento, at more than $201,000; about $22,000 came from the city of Los Angeles. His campaign also reported expenditures of $400,000 for the filing period, debt of $48,400 and ending cash of $235,100. 

Wilk brought in $431,903 of his $711,700 raised since Jan.1, also with a majority coming from political action committee contributions that amounted to about $347,400. Of the total figure from July to September, the senator held more contributions than Mueller from addresses registered in the 21st District. An estimated $190,300 came from Sacramento, the largest geographical area of contributions. 

His campaign also reported nearly $750,000 in expenditures for the same period, debt of about $29,300 and a cash-on-hand total of $254,600. 

Wilk said Friday that while his competitor had raised more this period, it comes down to transparency, something he said his rival has lacked. 

“(Mueller) made a pledge at a debate that he would not take corporate PAC money, money from the Democratic Party that’s funded by big (pharmaceutical companies) but he has,” he said. “I don’t have a problem with taking corporate PAC money but everything is disclosed; I’m transparent and voters have to know where the money comes from.” 

Mueller, who was unavailable for an interview, instead released a prepared statement that said, in part: “Scott Wilk is big oil and big pharma’s favorite state senator. He has made a career out of putting corporate interests ahead of our community. My career has been spent representing working families and holding the same corporations accountable that have bankrolled Wilk’s campaigns.” 

38th Assembly District 

In the race to fill the seat of Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita, who’s running for the 25th Congressional District seat, Republican Suzette Valladares led once again against GOP candidate Lucie Volotzky. 

Valladares raised $147,000 of the $330,800 total raised since Jan.1, of which about $82,000 came from outside the district in political action committee donations. She raised more than $16,000 from addresses registered within the 38th District and reported about $11,000 from out of state. Her campaign also had expenditures of $182,500 from July to September, debt of $11,000 and an ending cash balance of $32,900. 

On Friday, she said she was proud of her team for their efforts in raising funds reported despite a shift from fundraising to helping connect residents with resources amid the pandemic. 

“The first couple of months during the pandemic we weren’t campaigning; we were just trying to educate the community,” she said, adding that launching her campaign as “a strong digital campaign” from the start helped in the move to a Zoom-oriented time during the pandemic. “My priorities moving forward will be economic recovery.” 

Volotzky and her campaign did not respond to requests for comment, but reported $4,300 for the quarter out of $14,155 raised since Jan 1., of which $2,100 came from individual donations from Los Angeles. She also reported expenditures of $7,700, debt of about $7,700 and an ending cash balance of $1,200. 

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