Political Notebook

Lee Brand continues domination in Fresno mayor fundraising battle

Fresno mayor candidate Lee Brand has raised more than $263,000, loaned his campaign the maximum $100,000, and carried over more than $143,000 from his council account. All total, he has now crossed the $500,000 mark in total money for the race. That puts him well ahead of fellow candidates Henry R. Perea, H. Spees and Doug Vagim in the mayoral fundraising battle.
Fresno mayor candidate Lee Brand has raised more than $263,000, loaned his campaign the maximum $100,000, and carried over more than $143,000 from his council account. All total, he has now crossed the $500,000 mark in total money for the race. That puts him well ahead of fellow candidates Henry R. Perea, H. Spees and Doug Vagim in the mayoral fundraising battle.

In the Fresno mayor’s race, Lee Brand continues to dominate the field in the all-important fundraising battle.

Brand, the current District 6 councilman, has raised more than $263,000. He’s also loaned his campaign the maximum $100,000, and carried over more than $143,000 from his council account.

All total, Brand has now crossed the $500,000 mark in total money for the race.

The totals puts him well ahead of Henry R. Perea, currently a Fresno County supervisor, who has in total raised $307,299 for his mayoral run.

Community leader H. Spees is in a distant third, having raised $125,000 and loaned his campaign $100,000 for a total of $225,065.

Far behind is former Fresno County Supervisor Doug Vagim, who has raised less than $12,000.

The one area where Brand and Perea have had a closer battle is in contributions from this year. Brand is at $263,238 and Perea is at $224,351. Perea also closed the gap somewhat during the most recent fundraising period, which covers April 24 to May 21. During that period, Perea raised $94,403 to Brand’s $76,053. Spees also ramped up his fundraising, bringing in $56,485 during that period.

Money, of course, doesn’t guarantee victory at the polls, but it does give candidates more latitude in running wide-ranging campaigns.

Brand’s campaign, for instance, includes plenty of radio and television ads, as well as numerous campaign mailers, all of which compliment the traditional campaign work of precinct walking, phone calls, and making sure supporters cast their ballots.

As of May 21, the close of the last filing period, Brand had spent more than $376,000 on his campaign. Perea has spent around $255,000. Spees has spent around $158,000.

It appears that Perea is going all out on television, with more than $118,000 going to Fresno’s four main television stations, as well as Comcast, which runs ads on its cable system.

Brand, by comparison, has spent around $72,000 on television, plus close to $25,900 on radio for a total of around $98,000 in the air war.

Spees’ television spending is close to $35,000.

Where Brand has also focused his money – far more than Perea or Spees – is on campaign mail. Brand’s report shows more than $100,000 spent on campaign mail.

In addition to the money raised by the candidates, both Spees and Perea have received outside help from independent groups, which have no fundraising limits and are not supposed to coordinate their efforts with any candidate.

City records show Howard Ahmanson Jr./Fieldstead and Co. has put more than $40,000 into an independent campaign for Spees. Ahmanson is a multimillionaire and supporter of conservative Christian causes. According to campaign finance reports, Ahmanson/Fieldstead spent much of the money supporting Spees on campaign literature.

For Perea, Fresno police and firefighter unions have spent $19,000. The two have purchased 25 television commercials on KFSN (Channel 30.1) for $18,000.

The Central Valley Progressive Political Action Committee has also spent $4,200 on Perea.

Raising Mayoral Campaign Cash

As of May 21

Lee Brand

Contributions: $263,238

Self-loan: $100,000

Carryover from council account: $144,288

TOTAL RAISED: $507,526

Spent: $376,275

Cash on hand: $130,238*

(* After campaign debt is subtracted)

Henry R. Perea

Contributions: $224,351

Self-loan: 0

Carryover from supervisor account: $82,948

TOTAL RAISED: $307,299

Spent: $254,929

Cash on hand: $52,501

H. Spees

Contributions: $125,065

Self-loan: $100,000

TOTAL RAISED: $225,065

Spent: $157,930

Cash on hand: $60,674

Doug Vagim

Contributions: $11,758

Self-loan: 0

TOTAL RAISED: $11,758

Spent: $7,349

Cash on hand: $4,119

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