February 21, 2024

Within the crowded race to interchange retiring U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, former San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo has come out on prime in his first congressional fundraising haul, pulling in practically twice as a lot marketing campaign money as his opponents.

The District 16 race, which encompasses elements of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, is a uncommon probability for congressional hopefuls in Silicon Valley seeking to propel themselves to Washington D.C. with out battling an incumbent. Eshoo introduced final yr that she was retiring after serving greater than three a long time in Congress.

Liccardo raised essentially the most cash out of 11 candidates final quarter, bringing in additional than $1.6 million. As of Dec. 31, 2023, his marketing campaign had spent $94,048 and had roughly $1.5 million within the financial institution.

“It’s clear voters and residents are responding to Sam’s name for Congress to do extra to handle homelessness, crime and the excessive value of dwelling,” a spokesperson for Liccardo’s marketing campaign stated. “We’re grateful for the assist of hundreds of residents who’ve joined our marketing campaign via donating and volunteering their time, and our momentum continues to develop as we head into early voting.”

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Cupertino) got here in a distant second, elevating $875,227. Low, who served within the state legislature for practically a decade, is hoping to be the primary overtly LGBTQ congressmember to characterize the Bay Space. His marketing campaign has spent $51,374, with $837,518 available on the finish of final yr, giving himself a roughly $13,000 mortgage.

In a press release, Low’s marketing campaign spokesperson Clay Volino touted his assist, stating that “he’s earned extra congressional endorsements than some other candidate.” Low’s prolonged listing of endorsements embrace Reps. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont, Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, Mark Takano, D-Riverside, Ritchie Torres, D-NY, and newly appointed Sen. Laphonza Butler, D-CA.

“Evan’s robust monetary base mixed with grassroots enthusiasm and institutional assist means he’s well-positioned to win in March,” Volino stated.

Regardless of being a brand new identify in politics, tech entrepreneur and veteran Peter Dixon was the third greatest fundraiser final quarter with $856,674. He spent $169,691 and had greater than $1.2 million in money on the finish of the yr with a mortgage from himself price $575,000.

“As a lifelong public servant, fairly than a profession politician, I’m humbled by the groundswell of assist from buddies and neighbors that offers us the momentum to interrupt via in a crowded, lighting-fast major,” Dixon stated.

The Marine Corps veteran, who labored in Hillary Clinton’s State Division, defended his greater than half-a-million-dollar mortgage, stating that he’s “proud to be co-investing hard-earned cash in preventing to characterize the individuals of my residence district.”

Dixon has additionally acquired an equal quantity of endorsements as Low from present congressmembers, together with U.S. Reps. Jason Crow, D-CO, Mikie Sherrill, D-NJ, and Seth Moulton, D-MA — all of whom are additionally veterans.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, who is taken into account one of many frontrunners within the race as he’s represented a big a part of the congressional district for many years, raised $443,075 final quarter. Simitian snagged Eshoo’s coveted endorsement final month and began the race with greater than $600,000 in marketing campaign money from the committee he shaped, Pals of Simitian, in 2009. On the finish of final yr, he had $996,834 within the financial institution.

Simitian’s marketing campaign supervisor, Kilian Mallon, stated in an electronic mail that “the marketing campaign is correct the place it must be financially and has the assets to speak Joe Simitian’s points and plans to serve the district in Congress.”

“The marketing campaign is proud that the overwhelming variety of donors are native and linked to the group,” Mallon stated. “We look ahead to persevering with to inform the voters why over 200 regionally elected officers, organizations and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo imagine that Joe is your best option to characterize our communities in Congress.”

Larry Gerston, a professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State College, stated that Low and Simitian each have to “scramble” after Liccardo raised $1.6 million. However whereas “cash by no means hurts,” the native political observer stated it isn’t every little thing within the tight race.

“We don’t wish to make an excessive amount of out of it, as a result of it’s early,” he stated. “What issues is moving into the highest two.”

With somewhat over a month to go earlier than the first — the place the highest two will go on to the final election in November — Gerston stated that identify recognition is vital. Whereas Dixon pulled within the second-most amount of money final quarter, the professor stated his “pecking order will not be indicative of how the race ends” as a result of he’s lesser identified than Liccardo, Low and Simitian.

Palo Alto Metropolis Councilwoman Julie Lythcott-Haims — a newcomer to politics who was elected in 2022 — rounded out the pack of entrance runners, elevating $374,870 final quarter. The previous Stanford dean and creator spent $43,791 within the race final yr and had $331,079 available as of Dec. 31, 2023.

In a press launch, Lythcott-Haims stated she was “honored” to earn the assist of individuals within the district.

“I haven’t been getting ready to run for this seat for many years,” she stated. “I’m not a profession politician. It’s clear to me that voters on this district don’t need the politics of the previous, they need a candidate for the long run.”

Lythcott-Haims is the one girl within the race and is championing points akin to defending abortion entry, widespread sense gun management and inexpensive well being care.

Of the remaining candidates, Stanford graduate scholar Joby Bernstein raised $108,306.51, and lawyer Ahmed Mostafa raised $125,754. Republican and former Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki raised $6,569. Republican Karl Ryan didn’t report any cash. Filings for ex-Saratoga Metropolis Councilmember Rishi Kumar and Palo Alto Metropolis Councilmember Greg Tanaka weren’t out there on the time of publication; each people have run for the congressional seat prior to now.