Assembly battle reaches six figures

Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) raised more money in 2011 than his chief challenger, Newport Beach Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, but has less money on hand, campaign filings show.

Mansoor raised about $200,000 in 2011, much of which went to pay off debt from his 2010 Assembly run.

The former Costa Mesa mayor for the primary currently sits on about $42,000; it's a combination of funding from his reelection campaign committee and his 2010 campaign. He has already accumulated more than $13,000 for the November General Election, which he can use if he is one of the top two vote-getters in June's open primary.

His campaigns also owe nearly $25,000 — the result of a sizable loan for his 2010 election and campaign expenses.

Daigle raised $135,000 between July and December for the June primary, and has $118,000 set aside for the home stretch. About $23,400 of that came from her 2010 City Council campaign, records show.

"I think the voters in that area, in terms of candidates fit for the district, know Leslie's an idea fit," said campaign spokesman Matt Rexroad.

Daigle had more than 150 individual donors, more than 90% of them from within the state Assembly's newly redrawn 74th District, which includes Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and parts of Irvine and Huntington Beach.

Daigle and Mansoor are both Republicans in the June open primary. No Democrats have entered the race in an area where voter registration favors Republicans.

Mansoor's appeal as an incumbent — a notion Daigle has challenged because the district lines have been redrawn — was evident in campaign filings. He brought in donations from healthcare companies, oil companies, Philip Morris and developers, but a slew of individual donors also contributed.

"I have a lot of local support as well," Mansoor said. "That's carried me through all the campaigns I've been in."

Mansoor raised $17,725 from 14 donors in the last six months of 2011, according to campaign documents.

He also has the backing of the Republican establishment. Former California GOP Treasurer Keith Carlson dropped out of the race earlier this month, and the Orange County GOP formerly endorsed Mansoor on Saturday.

"Allan Mansoor has been an outstanding legislator and has been a model of courage in casting votes that are not always popular but are the right thing to do," said county GOP Chairman Scott Baugh. "We have a longstanding policy of supporting our incumbent legislators."

Huntington Beach City Councilman Joe Carchio has said he will run in the primary as well, but has not formally launched his campaign and does not show up in the disclosure records.

"I want to get all my ducks in a row," he said. "I don't want to go into it half-assed."

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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