Cost of Rogan-Schiff Battle for House Seat Topped $10 Million


The widely watched battle for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena area’s 27th Congressional District cost more than $10 million, the latest federal reports show.

U.S. Rep. James E. Rogan, the outspoken Glendale Republican whose leading role in President Clinton’s impeachment trial last year rocketed him to national prominence but alienated some voters in his increasingly Democratic district, raised more than $6.4 million for his failed reelection bid, documents show.

Democratic state Sen. Adam Schiff of Burbank, who defeated Rogan 53% to 44%, raised more than $3.9 million.


The reports deal only with the funds the campaigns raised and spent and do not include the sizable independent expenditures of political parties or outside interest groups.

Total tabs exceeded $3 million in each of two other hot congressional races in Southern California--in South Bay and San Diego districts where Democrats also defeated Republican incumbents. The fund-raising and spending was more modest in another hard-fought local contest, in the Long Beach-Downey area’s 38th Congressional District.

Fund-raising in all these races continued at a furious pace right up to the Nov. 7 election day, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. The latest reports, which had to be filed or postmarked by Thursday, covered the period from Oct. 19 through Nov. 27.

When final spending figures are tallied in coming weeks, the Schiff-Rogan contest could well end up the costliest House of Representatives race in history. Only two other House campaigns this year--in Illinois and West Virginia--could rival such spending totals, election reports show. The previous record was the $8 million spent in Georgia in 1996 by Republican Newt Gingrich, then the House speaker, and his opponent, Democratic businessman Mike Coles.

In the South Bay’s 36th District, former Rep. Jane Harman, a Democrat, raised more than $1.8 million to defeat Rep. Steven T. Kuykendall (R-Rancho Palos Verdes), who took her place when she gave up the seat two years ago to run for governor.

Although Harman used her family’s personal wealth in some earlier campaigns, reports showed that she did not this year. Kuykendall’s reports were not available, but his aides have said they expect the figures to show that he raised and spent about the same amount as Harman. She won 48% to 47%.


In San Diego County’s coastal 49th District, Democratic Assemblywoman Susan A. Davis defeated Republican Rep. Brian P. Bilbray 49.7% to 46.2%. Bilbray raised almost $1.7 million, while Davis reported taking in about $1.8 million.

Rep. Steve Horn (R-Long Beach) raised close to $470,000 to hang on to his seat in the heavily Democratic 38th District. His Democratic challenger--teacher, attorney and nurse practitioner Gerrie Schipske--collected about $700,000. Horn, who first won the seat in 1992, defeated Schipske by just 1,768 votes.