Political Notebook

Costa, Valadao pile up congressional campaign cash; opponents lag

David Valadao, R-Hanford
David Valadao, R-Hanford

Incumbent congressmen Jim Costa and David Valadao are totally dominating their respective races in fundraising, newly released campaign finance reports show.

It’s not even close between them and their challengers.

But at this point in the race, that’s not really important.

That’s because what really matters now is who will challenge them. It’s the challengers’ fundraising that actually is what matters.

For the record, Costa raised has raised $853,000 through Dec. 31 for his 16th Congressional District reelection bid, and has $1.13 million in his campaign coffers. In the 21st Congressional District, Valadao has raised $1.22 million as of the end of the year and has around $982,000 in his account.

Both seem well positioned, money-wise, to run solid reelection campaigns.

Now for their challengers, and so far, each has two:

▪  In the 16th District, Fresno County dairy farmer Johnny Tacherra, making his third straight congressional run, has raised $238,000 and has around $60,000 cash on hand. Madera County Supervisor David Rogers, the other 16th District challenger, has raised $127,000 so far and has $106,000 in his campaign war chest.

▪  In the 21st District, Fowler Mayor Pro-Tem Daniel Parra continues to struggle in his fundraising. His total for the campaign through Dec. 31 is not quite $50,000, and he has just $8,657 in the bank. Emilio Huerta, his newly minted challenger and the son of United Farm Workers’ co-founder Dolores Huerta, just got in the race last month, so he has yet to produce a campaign finance report.

Under California’s primary election rules, the top two finishers, regardless of political party, advance to the November general election. That Costa, a Democrat, and Valadao, a Republican, advance is a very safe bet.

So, will Costa face Tacherra or Rogers as his Republican challenger? And will Valadao face Parra or Huerta as his Democratic Party challenger?

How much money each candidate raises to help get out the message will no doubt by a key factor.

By the Numbers

16th Congressional District

Jim Costa, D-Fresno

$895,000 raised to date; $1.13 million cash on hand

Johnny Tacherra, R-Burrel

$238,000 raised to date; $60,000 cash on hand

David Rogers, R-Chowhilla

$127,000 raised to date; $106,000 cash on hand

21st Congressional District

David Valadao, R-Hanford

$1.22 million raised to date; $981,849 cash on hand

Daniel Parra, D-Fowler

$48,553 raised to date; $8,657 cash on hand

Emilio Huerta, D-Bakersfield

No report filed; only started campaign last month