April 10, 2012 – FresnoBee.com
“Fresno Republican Linda Halderman didn’t give much advance notice that she wasn’t going to seek a second Assembly term. Her 11th-hour decision left aspiring successors scrambling to put together campaigns — and to quickly raise money.
Now, a month later, the campaign dust in the newly created 23rd Assembly District has somewhat cleared, and it is apparent that some have jumped out of the fundraising gates faster than others.
What may be the most surprising is the initial fundraising burst by little-known Fresno attorney David DeFrank, who so far has raised around $40,000 — though his numbers have some huge caveats.
At the top of the heap is Clovis Council Member Bob Whalen, who has raised close to $50,000. That amount was helped considerably by Halderman herself, who donated $7,800, according to the Secretary of State’s Web site.
A distant third is the person many consider the frontrunner — former Fresno Mayor Jim Patterson.
Never known for his fundraising skills, Patterson has raised more than $16,000.
Many have dubbed Patterson the frontrunner because he was a two-term mayor and garnered a majority of the votes in parts of the district that overlap with the 19th Congressional District, which he unsuccessfully sought two years ago.
Trailing in the money race are Clovis planning commissioner Vong Mouanoutoua, who reports on the Secretary of State’s Web site show has raised around $1,000, and Richard Rojas, the race’s lone Democrat, who has no fundraising committee as of yet.
The money numbers aren’t precise.
When Halderman abruptly announced her exit from elected office, it gave her potential replacements just a week of fundraising before a mandatory reporting deadline.
The report that came at that time was detailed.
DeFrank was tops in that initial report, but of his totals, more than $11,000 were loans from himself to his campaign, and family members also chipped in a considerable chunk.
Whalen also got a good start, but the other three had nothing raised in that first week.
Since then, the money game is not as precise. Candidates are required to report contributions and independent expenditures of $1,000 or more within 24 hours of the time they are received.
That means if a hopeful is picking up a bunch of $100 or $500 or $900 donations, those won’t show up until the next fundraising reporting deadline.
The large-contribution reports, however, do show that Patterson is picking up the pace, including $3,900 donations from Harris Farms and Calcot. And DeFrank got a $3,900 from his wife’s former boss, Steve Poizner, an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate and the state’s former insurance commissioner.”