California attorney general raises $8.7 million this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the California Secretary of State, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has raised $8.7 million and spent $8.6 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 21, 2022. Bonta is currently ranked fourth in state-level donations in the 2022 election cycle.

Bonta is a member of the Democratic Party and assumed office in 2021. In California, the attorney general is an elected position. The primary job of a state attorney general is to serve as chief legal adviser to the agencies and legislative organs that make up his or her state’s government, in addition to the citizens residing within the state. Bonta is running for re-election in 2022.

Bonta’s reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2017-2022)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to Bonta

Of the $8.7 million already reported in the 2022 election cycle, 17.1 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to Bonta (1/1/2021 – 5/21/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$508,100.00California Correctional Peace Officers Association PACENTITY
2.$458,100.00Smart Justice California Action FundENTITY
3.$167,042.01Californians Supporting Rob Bonta for Attorney General 2022 Sponsored by Labor OrganizationsENTITY
4.$100,000.00Mary Quinn DelaneyINDIVIDUAL
5.$66,705.93Rob BontaENTITY
6.$50,000.00Mary Quinn DelaneyINDIVIDUAL
7.$34,900.00Raise the Wage California Sponsored by the California State Council of Service Employees and Its AffiliatesENTITY
8.$32,400.00California Conference Board Amalgamated Transit Union PACENTITY
9.$32,400.00California State Association of Electrical WorkersENTITY
10.$32,400.00California State Pipe Trades Council PACENTITY

Expenditures by Bonta

Bonta reported $8.6 million in expenditures, with 69.5 percent going to the 10 payees topping this list. “Payees” are entities or individuals listed as the recipients of campaign expenditures, and may include vendors, campaign accounts, and transfers.

Top Expenditures by Bonta (1/1/2021 – 5/21/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$2,339,560.24Rob BontaENTITY
2.$2,125,500.00Sadler Strategic Media IncENTITY
3.$252,152.50KABC – TVENTITY
4.$250,000.00Yosemite Consulting LLCENTITY
5.$207,378.75KGO – TVENTITY
6.$195,236.50KNBC – TVENTITY
7.$175,000.00Grace Public Affairs LLCENTITY
8.$158,049.94Bearstar Strategies IncENTITY
9.$135,638.75KCBS – TVENTITY
10.$134,016.31Bertolina & Barnato ConsultingENTITY

How donations to Bonta compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how Bonta’s donations compares to the 10 other attorney generals with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 attorney generals are members of the Republican Party and 23 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the attorney general in 43 states, while they are chosen by a state government organ in the other seven. In 2022, 30 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active California PACs submitted to the California Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameDue Date
1st Pre-Election – Primary4/28/2022
2nd Pre-Election – Primary5/26/2022
1st Pre-Election – General9/29/2022
2nd Pre- Election – General10/27/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.