Cash-On-Hand Bodes Well for Garcia Heading Into Primary

Eduardo Garcia

With less than one month until the June 5 primary, incumbent Democratic Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia has more than 50 times the amount of cash on hand than his nearest competitor.

 

Garcia, who was mayor of Coachella before being elected to the 56th Assembly District in 2014 and re-elected in 2016, had $368,490 cash on hand as of April 21, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Secretary of State.

One of his Republican challengers, Jeffrey Gonzalez, had an ending cash balance of $7,336 for the same period. A second Republican challenger, Jonathan Reiss, has $1,559 cash on hand.

Between Jan. 1, 2018 and April 21, 2018, Garcia received $72,723 in total contributions. His expenses for the same period amounted to $43,790.

Gonzalez

Jeffrey Gonzalez

Republican political newcomer Gonzalez raised $29,027 and spent nearly all of it — $23,190 — in the run-up to the primary, finances reports show.

Gonzalez, a Marine veteran and pastor, has received the endorsements of both the Imperial Valley Republican Party and the Riverside County Central Committee for California’s 56th State Assembly seat.

Jonathan Reiss

Jonathan Reiss

Reiss of Bermuda Dunes pulled in $4,451 between Jan. 1, 2018 and April 21, 2018 and spent $3,141.

So, what does it all mean? Is the person who raises and spends the most money guaranteed a victory? Of course not. Does more money mean more ads in more places and more mailers? Probably.  But there are so many unknowns such as voter turnout, a candidate’s appeal or lack thereof, and the almighty question of scandals in his or her closet. If there is a scandalous past, in most cases, no amount of money will make it go away unless, of course, you are ….

Taking a look at campaign finance reports is a way of looking at who is funding a campaign and by how much. It is not intended to make a prediction that the person who raises the most wins, as one reader inferred from a recent financial disclosure story. It is an exercise in transparency and holding public officials accountable. Is someone trying to buy influence?

Ultimately, you, the reader, are the judge.

The 56th Assembly District encompasses all of the Imperial Valley and parts of the Coachella Valley, or about 13 percent of Riverside County. The district is primarily rural and heavily Latino. Coachella Valley communities in the district are Bermuda Dunes, Blythe, Cathedral City, Coachella, Desert Center, Desert Hot Springs, Indio, Mecca, Thermal, and Thousand Palms.