Fundraising of two GOP candidates in open House seats varies widely

Congressional candidates Elan S. Carr, left, and state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) share a light moment at a candidates forum in Rancho Palos Verdes last week.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

Paul Chabot and Elan S. Carr have some things in common. Both are Republicans and first-time candidates, running this fall for open seats in Congress. Both are military veterans and they have the same campaign strategist.

But they differ sharply in their ability to raise money for their respective races, reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission show.

Carr, of Beverly Hills, is running an uphill race in a strongly Democratic district to succeed liberal lion Rep. Henry A. Waxman D-(Beverly Hills), who is retiring after 40 years in Congress. Yet Carr, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who has prosecuted gang and other violent crimes, has been able to raise nearly $1.2 million for his campaign.

While that is not as much as the almost $1.7 million raised by his opponent, state Sen Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), it is unusually high for a first-time candidate facing tough odds.


Chabot, on the other hand, has raised just under $249,000 in his Nov. 4 election battle with Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, who has brought in nearly $1.8 million for his campaign.

Aguilar and Chabot of Rancho Cucamonga are competing to succeed retiring Rep. Gary Miller (R-Rancho Cucamonga) in a Democratic-tilting Inland Empire district.

As far as how much money the candidates had left by the Sept. 30 end of the most recent reporting period, Carr’s report showed he had about $48,000 cash on hand compared to Lieu’s almost $478,000. Chabot had nearly $152,000 cash on hand and Aguilar had $293,000, according to their reports to the FEC.

Most observers say how much money a candidate has going into the final weeks before the election, the period when most voters start paying attention, is a measure of a campaign’s viability in competitive contests.


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