The candidates for California’s 22nd Congressional District – a slice of both Fresno and Tulare counties in which the median household income is $57,667 – spent $20,510,279 in their bids to capture the central San Joaquin Valley seat.
Challenger Andrew Janz raised about $9.23 million in the 2018 election cycle. The Fresno Democrat spent $9.11 million.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, pulled in a staggering $12.61 million in his eighth re-election bid. He spent $11.4 million. Due to a substantial war chest built up before the election began, he ended the cycle with nearly $4.4 million on hand.
Nunes defeated Janz by about 12,000 votes or five percentage points. It was by far the closet margin of victory for the longtime congressman, who saw several of his fellow California Republican representatives fall to Democratic challengers.
The race grew to national prominence almost immediately.
Nunes’ profile rose through his work on the Intelligence Committee, partisan stances on many issues, war with the media, close ties to President Donald Trump and refusal to appear publicly within his district.
Janz capitalized on these issues, running a wide-open grassroots campaign in which he regularly appeared on national media.
A little more than $11 million of Nunes’ 2018 cash came from individual donations. The remainder came from political action committees, other campaign committees and Nunes’ own party holding committees.
Almost all of Janz’s cash came from individual donations, but he did receive about $116,000 from PACs.
The two candidates peppered the airwaves and mailboxes with advertisements in the weeks leading up to the election.
In the final three weeks leading up to the election, Janz spent about $1.34 million on advertising and related media costs.
Nunes spent about $978,000 on advertising and media. Both spent more than $3 million on advertising alone in the previous quarter.
Nunes also spent about $39,000 on polling in the final weeks.