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DeMaio, Fletcher flex fundraising muscle

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Two high profile San Diego mayoral candidates Thursday announced imposing fundraising totals from the most recent period.

City Councilmember Carl DeMaio pulled in $431,159 between July 1 and the end of the year, while State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher raised nearly $415,516 during the same period.

After finishing in third and fourth place in fundraising in the previous cycle, the other major candidates approaching June’s primary election, San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Congressman Bob Filner, have yet to release their fundraising totals.

The deadline to file fundraising disclosures for the period is Jan. 31.

To date, DeMaio’s campaign has raised a total of $976,190, while Fletcher has brought in $735,523.

DeMaio has donated more than $350,000 from his personal wealth. He donated $80,000 of that during the most recent period.

Fletcher has donated $500 with his wife donating another $500.

“Worth noting that when you subtract out the personal total, (Fletcher) out raised (DeMaio) by $114,000,” Fletcher Deputy Campaign Manager Amy Thoma wrote in an email.

John Dadian, a political consultant with Dadian & Associates who is not involved in the race, said the difference between the candidates, minus their personal contributions, isn’t significant and suggests they’re raising at virtually the same rate.

But in the future, DeMaio’s personal wealth presents a decided advantage.

“What I was holding my breath and waiting for during this period is to see if the amount raised in first 25 days was just low hanging fruit,” he said. “What I mean is, if they didn’t raise well in the last six months, it would show it was only the people who were ready and waiting to donate. These totals clearly show me that they didn’t just pick off the low hanging fruit, that their support base is both wide and deep.”

DeMaio’s campaign touted that he reached his fundraising total in spite of temporarily suspending his campaign for three months to raise money and collect signatures for the comprehensive pension reform ballot measure that he’s championed. The ballot measure is subject to voter approval on the same day as the mayoral primary.

“I’m up against the labor unions and special interest insiders who will be filling the campaign coffers of my opponents,” DeMaio said in a release accompanying his fundraising totals.

The next step is waiting on Dumanis and Filner’s totals next week, according to Dadian.

“There’s no advantage if (Dumanis) comes out and has similar numbers,” he said. “Filner, I’m guessing he won’t have aggressive numbers because he feels he gets in a run-off no matter what because he’s the only democrat.”

DeMaio’s campaign has now received donations from 3,059 donors, compared to 2,479 from Fletcher.

“It’s not that they’re appealing to different bases, but their platforms are appealing to people who want to donate: DeMaio to people who want to reform the city, Fletcher to people who want dynamic new leadership.”

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