With the 31st Assembly District special election approaching fast, Democrat Joaquin Arambula is continuing his fundraising onslaught, absolutely dominating his Republican opponent, Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier.
Arambula has raised around $185,000 for the April 5 special election, and has loaned his campaign an additional $50,000. Olivier has raised $13,900.
The totals come from the Secretary of State, where candidates have 24 hours to report contributions of $1,000 or more in the three months before an election.
Both candidates will almost certainly add these new totals to some or all of the cash they had in their accounts as of Dec. 31. That was around $160,000 for Arambula when his campaign debt is included, and $119,000 for Olivier.
The special election this year means both Arambula and Olivier can raise even more cash from donors. Campaign contribution limits – such as $4,200 for individuals and political action committees – are per election.
That means that Arambula or Olivier could get $4,200 for the April 5 special election, another $4,200 for the June primary election and, finally, $4,200 for the November general election.
And there’s a third candidate in the race – Caruthers Democrat Ted Miller. The filing period for running in the April 5 31st Assembly District special election closed Thursday, so the field is set with the three candidates – Miller, Arambula and Olivier. The Secretary of State had no record of any money raised so far by Miller.
The special election is needed to fill the unexpired term of Fresno Democrat Henry T. Perea, who resigned Dec. 31 with one year left until he reached his term limit. The winner of the special election will serve until December. The winner of the November general election will serve a full two-year term starting in December.
If none of the three hopefuls get 50 percent of the vote in the April special election, there will be a special election runoff among the top two candidates that will coincide with the June primary. If that is the case, candidates could raise yet another $4,200 from donors.
As was the case last year, Arambula is tapping Assembly Democrats and political action committees for large chunks of his contributions.