California Atty. Gen.
Harris, the only well-known Democrat in the race, raised $2.5 million in the three months that ended March 31, much of it from the legal and entertainment industries, according to the report she filed with the
The breadth of Harris’ fundraising gives her a major advantage in the Senate contest. Several Democrats in the
Harris’ Hollywood contributors included actor
Also contributing were a large stable of producers, writers and talent agents, including Ari Emanuel of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment.
Scores of lawyers in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and Washington were donors, along with a handful of lobbyists such as Darius Anderson of Platinum Advisors in Sacramento. Another contributor was Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer.
Even for a member of Congress with a seven-figure campaign account, Harris’ donor roster could prove intimidating — and a deterrent to entering the race, said Fred Register, a Democratic strategist who is not working on the campaign.
“I think it would be one more sign of how difficult it will be to take on Harris,” he said.
The only well-known Republican in the contest so far is Rocky Chavez, an Oceanside state assemblyman who launched his campaign March 5.
The report he filed Wednesday showed he raised $12,030 in March, most of it from Oceanside-area donors, and finished the month with just under $5,000.
Many of the lawyers and entertainment executives who gave money to Harris donated the maximum of $5,400 — half for the June 2016 primary and half, should she win that, for the November general election.
The relatively low federal donation limits make it important for Senate candidates to maximize the number of contributors; a campaign can easily cost $20 million or more. Since she entered the race on Jan. 13, Harris has collected more than $225,000 per week, on average.
Assisting her are supporters with huge donor networks, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts,
After spending on travel, consultants and other expenses, Harris wound up with $2.2 million cash on hand at the end of March.