Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.
While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.
This article lists top fundraisers among California statewide officeholders and candidates, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for statewide elected offices submitted to the California Secretary of State. It includes activity between July 1, 2022, and Dec. 31, 2022.
Statewide political positions are typically offices in the executive and judicial branches of government rather than the legislative, and they most often represent all citizens in the state, rather than those in a particular district.
Top California statewide fundraisers by party
The top fundraisers among California statewide officeholders and candidates are shown below. Individuals are presented with the office that they were on the ballot for in 2022, if applicable. If no office is indicated, the person was an incumbent and was not on the ballot in 2022.
In the Democratic Party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Gavin Newsom (Governor) – $6,606,954
- Rob Bonta (Attorney General) – $1,709,331
- Malia Cohen (Controller) – $1,120,962
- Eleni Kounalakis (Lieutenant Governor) – $1,076,952
- Fiona Ma (Treasurer) – $708,036
In the Republican Party, the top fundraisers in the most recent semiannual reporting period were:
- Nathan Hochman (Attorney General) – $2,287,951
- Lanhee Chen (Controller) – $2,275,718
- Brian Dahle (Governor) – $1,116,742
- Anthony Trimino (Governor) – $193,115
- Angela Underwood Jacobs (Lieutenant Governor) – $71,179
Overall, Democratic officeholders and candidates raised $12.4 million in this period. Republican officeholders and candidates raised $6.1 million. Combined, all statewide officeholders and candidates in the July 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022, filing period raised $19.0 million.
The five largest Democratic fundraisers were responsible for 91 percent of all Democratic statewide officeholder and candidate fundraising. The five largest Republican fundraisers were responsible for 98 percent of all Republican statewide officeholder and candidate fundraising.
The table below provides additional data from the campaign finance reports from the top 10 fundraisers during this period.
|TOP 10 FUNDRAISERS – California STATEWIDE OFFICEHOLDERS AND CANDIDATES (July 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022)|
|Name||Party Affiliation||Office Sought||Raised||Spent|
|Governor Gavin Newsom||Democratic Party||Governor||$6,606,954||$23,707,998|
|Nathan Hochman||Republican Party||Attorney General||$2,287,951||$3,141,456|
|Lanhee Chen||Republican Party||Controller||$2,275,718||$8,262,020|
|Attorney General Rob Bonta||Democratic Party||Attorney General||$1,709,331||$1,067,399|
|Controller Malia Cohen||Democratic Party||Controller||$1,120,962||$1,950,889|
|Senator Brian Dahle||Republican Party||Governor||$1,116,742||$2,005,480|
|Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis||Democratic Party||Lieutenant Governor||$1,076,952||$294,423|
|Treasurer Fiona Ma||Democratic Party||Treasurer||$708,036||$886,950|
|Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond||Nonpartisan||Superintendent of Public Instruction||$359,740||$760,182|
|Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara||Democratic Party||Commissioner of Insurance||$352,373||$303,275|
Campaign finance reporting periods
The data above are based on campaign finance reports that candidate committees submitted to the California Secretary of State. Candidate committees represent individuals who have run for state or local office at any point, including past and present officeholders. This article does not include non-candidate committees. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines.