It’s been six months since Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin fell short in her bid to win the state controller’s race, and she’s still carrying campaign debt.
Tim Clark, who is Swearengin’s political adviser, said he’s not too worried about raising the money. Maybe he should be, since Clark says all of Swearengin’s remaining debt is owed to him.
At the end of 2014, when Swearengin last filed a campaign finance report, it showed her with $65,000 in debt. She also had $29,400 left in her campaign account. The difference between cash-on-hand and outstanding bills is around $35,600.
But since then, state records show Swearengin has only picked up two contributions.
In early January, she got $6,800 from the Newport Beach-based Irvine Co., and in late April, $5,000 from Walmart. That’s just $11,800 since the end of last year.
Swearengin’s campaign account in December showed $42,000 owed to Clark, most of it for consulting. Sacramento fundraiser Wendy Warfield was also owed $10,000. There were a few others listed as well.
Since the election, however, Clark ran the special Senate election for Orange County Republican John Moorlach. He won, and now Clark has taken a position as his chief-of-staff. Because of that, Clark said he’s been too busy with Moorlach to hit up donors for Swearengin.
“I figure when I turn my attention to it, it will be relatively easy to raise the money,” Clark said.
Clark figures he can close Swearengin’s debt — to him — by raising a little money in Orange County, a little in the Bay Area, and the rest in Fresno.