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DeMaio, Fletcher still ahead in mayoral fundraising

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The four major candidates for San Diego’s June mayoral primary released their fundraising totals for the most recent period Thursday, strengthening the financial stories that have begun to dominate the race.

State Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and City Councilman Carl DeMaio continued to build their war chests. District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis lagged those two but has found steady sources of income that she’s yet to spend. And Congressman Bob Filner, despite assistance from the Democratic Party, finds himself in a sizable financial hole.

Fundraising hasn’t played much role in the race yet because the candidates have been reluctant to spend their cash. That’ll change once the enrollment period for absentee ballots opens.

“The bulk of the money in the primary will be spent on voter contact, mostly direct mail and TV and radio,” said political consultant John Dadian of Dadian & Associates. “You don’t start spending on direct mail until the absentee period opens, for the absentee chase.”

DeMaio led the period, as he has each of the periods to date. He pulled in $286,313 from Jan. 1 to March 17 with expenditures of $172,880. He now has $932,354 cash on hand, after spending $168,766 in cash during a period he began with $814,768. The campaign has $127,054 in outstanding debt.

He donated $39,840 to his own campaign during the period, and has now donated $505,791 during the election to date.

The San Diego Democratic Party (SDDP) announced Friday it has filed a complaint with the San Diego Ethics Commission against DeMaio for illegally avoiding campaign financial disclosure and contribution limit laws. The complaint relates to a poll by Competitive Edge Research conducted at the beginning of March and released on March 12.

The ethics complaint alleges that the DeMaio campaign illegally coordinated with a third party to pay for the opinion poll without having to disclose the relationship.

Fletcher brought in $219,047 during the period with expenditures of $151,228. He currently has $657,449 cash on hand, after beginning the period with $553,070 and making $113,762 in cash payments. The campaign has $57,337 in outstanding debt.

Neither Fletcher nor his wife, Mindy, donated this period, and have donated a total of $500 each during the campaign.

Dumanis continued to trail the other two Republican candidates, bringing in $119,409 since the start of the year with expenditures during the period of $88,440. She now has $292,937 in cash on hand after beginning the period with $275,547 and making $100,623 in cash payments. Her campaign has an additional $29,774 in outstanding debt.

Filner has largely ignored the early parts of the campaign, believing he can advance to a November run-off by being the only Democrat in the race. But he has publicly acknowledged of late that he needs to begin raising more money to remain viable.

He raised $107,548 during the first two and a half months of the year, during which he had expenditures of $110,264. He began the period with $41,444 in cash on hand and ended it with $85,796 while making $65,040 in cash payments. His campaign now has $60,980 in debt.

Filner received $34,000 from the San Diego Democratic Party.

Recent polls have shown Carl DeMaio leading the race, with the others bunched behind him.

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