Renteria’s campaign says she raised more than $335,000 in the final quarter of 2013, which ended Dec. 31.
Of that amount, the Renteria campaign said more than 1,800 people made low-dollar donations of $100 or less, which they called grassroots donations. And her campaign said the campaign is loan-free, including any loans by Renteria to her own campaign.
Allan Hoffenblum, a longtime Republican strategist and author of the California Target Book, which tracks the state’s elections, said Democrats will “move heaven and earth to take out Valadao,” and that Renteria’s initial fundraising efforts show that she’s on her way to being a viable challenger.
Right now, however, she still has to get past the 21st Congressional District June primary. Besides Valadao and Renteria, Fresno Democrat John Hernandez is also in the race.
Valadao pummeled Hernandez in 2012. Under the state’s primary election rules, the top two vote getters in June, regardless of political party, will move on to the November general election.
“Our campaign is off to a strong start, and I look forward to continuing this campaign to be an effective voice for the Valley in Washington,” Renteria said in a statement.
But the Valadao campaign said they’d rather hear some policy talk.
“Outside of her fundraising, we’d love to hear her position on high speed rail, her position on ObamaCare, her opinions on reforming the (Endangered Species Act) to provide a more reliable water supply — above and beyond her ability to raise money for a partisan office,” said Tal Eslick, Valadao’s chief of staff.
Valadao has yet to release his campaign finance report, but as of Sept. 30, he had almost $585,000 in his coffers.
And it is almost certain that the National Republican Campaign Committee will help Valadao. Already, it is hitting Renteria for being a Washington insider.
NRCC spokeswoman Alleigh Marré said “just two days into her congressional campaign, Renteria was in D.C. cashing in on her lobbyist connections, rather than campaigning with voters at home.”