California state lawmakers for San Bernardino County and other Inland area counties reported their fundraising totals this week.
The Press-Enterprise reported that state Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Hemet) raised almost $183,000 during the first half of 2011, according to campaign finance reports that were due this week.
Emmerson’s total was the most raised by any state legislator representing Riverside or San Bernardino counties. He also collected the most of any Republican in the California Senate or Assembly.
After Emmerson, Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-Palm Desert) raised $160,000 and Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) raised $134,000.
While the elections are a year away, candidates are vigorously trying to raise money so they can run for future office. They also are trying to avoid being voted out of office in new districts the state’s independent redistricting commission has proposed – Emmerson for example raised $106,000 by this point in 2009 but that was before he decided to run for the state Senate.
Lawmakers also will have to worry about how the new voter-approved top-two primary system will work for their re-election chances. In it, the top two vote getters in a primary, regardless of party affiliation, will run against each other in the general election, thus leaving the possibility of two Republicans or two Democrats running against one another instead of the standard Republican versus Democratic contest.
Other Inland area lawmakers who reported their fundraising totals included Senate Minority Leader Bob Dutton and assemblymen Paul Cook, Jeff Miller, Mike Morrell and Kevin Jeffries, according to The Press-Enterprise.
Dutton raised more than $122,000 for his possible bid to be in the California Assembly next year. Cook (R-Yucca Valley) raised almost $79,000, Miller (R-Corona) raised $94,000, Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) raised $118,000 and Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore) raised $229,000 for his campaign for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Other Inland area lawmakers such as Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Chino), and Democratic state Sen. Gloria Negrete McLeod have yet to report their fundraising totals – McLeod also has expressed interest in running for one of the new districts that was proposed for the United States House of Representatives.
U.S. lawmakers from the Inland Empire also have reported their fundraising totals, although again, redistricting has some not knowing what district they will be running in and others not announcing yet if they will run for re-election or retire.
Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis, for example, has not said if he would run for re-election but he collected more than $126,000 for the first half of 2011, which was four times higher than what he collected during the same period in 2009. Republican Rep. Ken Calvert took in a little more than $242,000, which was down from the $403,000 he collected during the same period two years ago. Democratic Rep. Joe Baca also took in slightly less than he had during the same period in 2009 by raising about $98,000.
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