A Hollywood soap opera actress who moved to the 36th Congressional District late last year from San Diego outpaced her nearest Republican rival in fundraising by more than 10 times, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Still, Kimberlin Brown Pelzer’s coffers fall significantly short of Democratic Incumbent Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz has in his.
As of Sept. 30, Ruiz had nearly $1.8 million in cash on hand, according to the FEC. Between Jan. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2017, the Congressman received just shy of $1.3 million in contributions.
Ruiz, a Harvard educated physician who elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, is being challenged by four Republicans – Brown Pelzer, Dan Ball, Doug Hassett and Stephan Wolkowicz.
Ball, a Realtor and former television anchor, garnered $15,450 in campaign contributions between Oct. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017, according to the FEC. His cash on hand as of Dec. 31 was $13, 634.69.
In contrast, Brown Pelzer, who has been referred to as a “carpetbagger,” received $175,832 in contributions between Oct. 6, 2017, and Dec. 31, 2017. As of Dec. 31, her cash on hand totaled $146,633.
The National Republican Congressional Committee this week endorsed Brown Pelzer under its “Young Guns On the Radar” effort. It is designed to help identify and support first-time GOP candidates, especially those with the potential to become stars in the party. The NRCC is reportedly targeting 36 Democrat-held districts in blue-collar areas.
Richard R. Oliphant, president of the Lincoln Club and one of Ball’s biggest cheerleaders, had hope Ball would be named one of the Young Gun on the Radar as it opens up the doors to fundraising opportunities.
But Ball has something Brown Pelzer does not have: the endorsement of former Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono who lost to Ruiz in 2012.
As the campaign for California’s 36th Congressional District escalates, Bono announced Thursday that she’s putting her support behind Ball as the strongest Republican candidate to take the fight to Ruiz in November.
“Common-sense leadership is noticeably absent in Washington, and we need a strong leader who can cut through the partisanship and bickering and get things done for California families,” Bono said in a prepared statement. “I have known Dan for many years. He is honest, hardworking and will be the leader our district so desperately needs in Washington. I am proud to offer my full endorsement of his campaign. Kimberlin, having just relocated to the district, certainly brings a new voice to the race. I applaud her for deciding to get involved but knowing a congressional district is of highest importance and Dan has that knowledge and experience.”
Ball said he is “proud” to have her endorsement.
“Mary has been a community leader, a national leader and public servant for 30 years I hope to continue her public service in Congress,” Ball said.
Hassett, ranks a distant third among the Republican challengers when it comes to fundraising. He received $1,285 in contributions between Oct. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017. His cash on hand as of Dec. 31, 2017 was $701.46.
Stephan Wolkowicz, director of finance for Embassy Suites Palm Desert who also ran unsuccessfully in 2016, reported no contributions between Jan. 1, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2017. He reported a loan of $2,000 and his cash on hand totals $508.50, according to the FEC.
Ball told Uken Report last year that by the time polling is done in January or February the field of four GOP candidates should be narrowed to one, adding that he did not enter the race to lose. Ball told Uken Report on Thursday that no polling data is yet available.