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California elections

Boxer tops potential challengers in fundraising

GOP rivals Fiorina, Campbell and DeVore lag significantly behind the incumbent.

April 14, 2010|By Seema Mehta

Democrat Barbara Boxer outdistanced her Republican challengers in raising money during the first quarter of the year, and her two leading GOP would-be opponents were nearly tied in income over the period, according to financial reports.

Boxer, a three-term incumbent who faces no serious primary challenge but is anticipating her toughest general election battle yet, raised $2.4 million in the first three months of 2010. She now has $8.7 million on hand, and is due to raise more next week with a visit from President Obama.

The Republican front-runners, former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina and former Rep. Tom Campbell, took in significantly less than Boxer.

Fiorina raised $1.7 million in the first quarter, according to figures released Tuesday. That brought her cash on hand to $2.8 million, more than her GOP rivals.

Fiorina, a multimillionaire in part because of a payout she received when she was fired by Hewlett-Packard, did not contribute more of her own money to her campaign in the first quarter, the records showed. Last year she lent her campaign $2.5 million.

Fiorina spokeswoman Julie Soderlund would not say whether the candidate would contribute more of her own money. Doing so after the quarterly disclosure deadline would deny her competitors knowledge of how much money she has until shortly before the June primary. The next reports are due May 27.

"She hasn't closed the door to investing more in the campaign," Soderlund said.

Campbell, who has run neck-and-neck with Fiorina in recent polls, announced last week that he has raised $1.6 million since entering the Senate race in January. His campaign did not disclose how much cash he has.

Campbell's numbers are a far cry from what his campaign predicted when he joined the Senate race. Campaign spokesman James Fisfis has repeatedly said the campaign planned to raise between $5 million and $10 million.

Fisfis said he stood by those figures. In recent weeks, the campaign has been raising $200,000 per week, and that number will grow as election day nears, Fisfis said.

A third Republican candidate, Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, said he had raised $626,000 in the first quarter and was left with $411,000 in the bank. DeVore has been embraced by the "tea party" movement, but its support has yet to boost his campaign.

DeVore spokesman Josh Trevino said despite the disparity with the other candidates, DeVore would have enough to be competitive.

"Unlike Fiorina, we don't have a cast of thousands," Trevino said. "We've got a very lean operation, and we're able to subsist and thrive upon it."

seema.mehta@latimes.com

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