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  • Governor's race
Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised $4.4 million in 2017 for his gubernatorial campaign.
Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa raised $4.4 million in 2017 for his gubernatorial campaign. (Los Angeles Times)

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had more than $5.9 million in the bank at the beginning of the year for his gubernatorial bid, lagging far behind top Democratic rival Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Villaraigosa raised $4.4 million in 2017 and spent more than a quarter of that on his campaign, according to a summary of the campaign finance report he filed with the California secretary of state.

"We set out to make this a two-person race, and we have accomplished that by dramatically increasing our support in the polls, raising over $7 million and laying the foundation for a winning people-powered campaign. We are on track to advance to the general election and win in November,” Villaraigosa campaign spokesman Luis Vizcaino said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon.

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  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
California gubernatorial candidate John Cox reported raising $518,446 in 2017.
California gubernatorial candidate John Cox reported raising $518,446 in 2017. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox has nearly $2 million on hand as he tries to win one of the top two spots in the June primary, according to a fundraising disclosure report he filed with the California secretary of state’s office on Wednesday.

He reported raising $518,446 in 2017, on top of the $3 million the Rancho Santa Fe businessman donated to his campaign.

Cox’s cash on hand puts him far ahead of GOP rival Travis Allen, who entered 2018 more than $200,000 in debt. The other top Republican in the race, former Rep. Doug Ose, won’t have to disclose finances until the spring because he entered the contest only this month.

  • California in Congress
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats
  • U.S. Senate race
(Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein raised $1 million in the final months of 2017 and lent her campaign $5 million, according to a fundraising disclosure filed with the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday.

The cash infusions allowed the veteran senator to kick off the year with $9.8 million in the bank.

Feinstein last faced a competitive race in 1994. But she is being challenged this year by a fellow Democrat, state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León. He has not yet disclosed his fundraising efforts to date.

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Republicans
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Travis Allen started the year more than $200,000 in debt, according to a fundraising report filed with the California secretary of state’s office on Wednesday.

Allen, a state assemblyman from Huntington Beach, reported raising $447,236 in 2017, with expenditures of $654,602, according to the filing. More than half of those expenses were unpaid, leaving Allen with $135,535 cash in the bank and $342,850 in unpaid bills.

Allen’s GOP rivals in the race have yet to report their fundraising totals for 2017, but he is almost certain to lag behind businessman John Cox, who has contributed $3 million to his own campaign. The other main Republican in the race, former Rep. Doug Ose, entered the race earlier this month and won’t be required to file fundraising reports until the spring.

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  • Congressional races
  • 2018 election
Rep. Duncan Hunter speaks to reporters in the Capitol in January 2017.
Rep. Duncan Hunter speaks to reporters in the Capitol in January 2017. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Rep. Duncan Hunter’s reelection campaign could be headed into a tailspin. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Hunter’s campaign is bleeding money.

The Republican from Alpine raised an anemic $50,703 in the last three months of 2017, according to the reports, but spent more than three times that — $178,168 — on legal fees as he battles an FBI investigation into whether he improperly used campaign funds for personal expenses. He started 2018 with just $290,904 in the bank, less than half of what he had stored up a year earlier.

The five-term congressman appears to be losing support within his district. Only one donor listed in Hunter’s year-end report lives inside Hunter’s 50th Congressional District: Molly Sylvester, a local businesswoman who owns a chain of vape shops in San Diego and gave him $2,000. (Hunter is known for vaping during a 2016 committee as he was arguing against a ban on e-cigarettes on planes.) 

Delaine Eastin before the start of a gubernatorial debate at UCLA on Jan. 25.
Delaine Eastin before the start of a gubernatorial debate at UCLA on Jan. 25. (Genaro Molina)

Democratic candidate for governor Delaine Eastin raised just under $660,000 in campaign funds in 2017, a far cry from the sums being raised by her Democratic rivals in the race.

The other major Democrats in the race, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chiang, have raised millions. Newsom leads the pack, with a haul expected to exceed $20 million. 

Given the amount she’s raised, Eastin’s campaign options are severely limited. Airing a single television ad in the Los Angeles market can run $2 million a week. 

  • Governor's race
  • 2018 election
  • California Democrats

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo endorsed Antonio Villaraigosa for governor on Wednesday, saying he appreciated his record in elected office and his pragmatic approach.

“I look forward to working with him to narrow California’s economic divide and to build more affordable housing,” Liccardo said.

The men toured housing for homeless veterans in San Jose and held a roundtable about the affordable-housing and homeless crises.

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An array of guns at Markley's gun range in Watsonville, Calif.
An array of guns at Markley's gun range in Watsonville, Calif. (Los Angeles Times file photo)

A state lawmaker wants to mandate a lifetime ban on possessing firearms by some Californians suffering from severe mental health issues, saying it may help reduce the number of suicides.

A bill by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) would apply to some of those judged by the courts to be a risk to themselves and others who are approved for an involuntary 5150 hold for mental health treatment.

Currently, those people have their firearms taken away for five years, but psychiatric facilities often petition afterward for the guns to be returned, Low said.

The engine of a train carrying Republican members of Congress after it collided with a truck.
The engine of a train carrying Republican members of Congress after it collided with a truck. (Courtesy of Rep. Jeff Denham)

Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) said passengers didn’t feel the train’s brakes engage before it struck a dumptruck on the tracks.

“We hit the truck going full speed,” Denham said in a phone interview not long after the train taking GOP members of Congress to a Republican retreat in West Virginia collided with the dumptruck.

Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford) told The Times he was in his seat toward the back of the train when he felt a jolt. Debris scattered on the tracks outside, and people from nearby homes ran toward the truck and the two people in green laying on the ground.