Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former State Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana)
SD-34 is one of the more complex races to calculate campaign finances for, due to the fact that Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove) and former Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) wield massive warchests, scattered across multiple campaign accounts. Furthermore, independent expenditures will likely dominate the final weeks of the general election.
Nguyen wields campaign accounts for both Senate and Supervisor while Solorio has Senate, College Board, and ballot measure accounts. Nguyen just opened her Senate account during this reporting period but already managed to obtain $105,750 for her Senate account. She also raised $65,345 into her Supervisorial account during 2013. Solorio raised $64,420 into his Senate account in 2013, $3,200 into his College Board account, and $2,500 into his ballot measure account.
It’s clear Solorio is depending on money from his Sacramento days, as he simply didn’t raise as much as Nguyen did during this reporting period – the first reporting period in which Solorio was no longer an Assemblyman.
The campaign contribution limit for Supervisor is $1,900 per election while the contribution limit for Senate is $4,100. Consequently, it is quite likely that the vast majority of Nguyen’s supervisorial account ($331,704) can be transferred to her Senate account ($102,965).
Solorio has $104,339 in his ballot measure committee, which has no contribution limits, but that means he can only transfer $4,100 per donor per election into his Senate account; a chunk of that is not transferable since he has donors who gave $10,000 to the ballot measure committee, and a total transfer would violate Senate contribution limits. Since there’s only $292 in Solorio’s College Board account, he’ll have no problem transferring all of it, but then again, it’s only $292 (I’ll note College Board has no contribution limits, though).
Refreshingly, neither candidate in SD-34 had any loans to their campaigns.
For visual learners:
||Cash on Hand
|Nguyen for Senate
|Nguyen for Supervisor
|Solorio for Senate
|Solorio for College Board
|Solorio Ballot Measure
|Notes: Figures may be off by one dollar due to rounding.
SD-34 is 38.4% Democrats, 35.8% Republicans, 21.0% No Party Preference voters, and 4.8% third party voters. 87.8% of SD-34 voters are from Orange County while 12.2% are from Los Angeles County. With lower voter turnout in November 2014 due to a lack of the presidential race, this should favor the Republican (Nguyen) against the Democrat (Solorio), as Republicans tend to have higher voter turnout than Democrats do.
It appears Nguyen and Solorio sit in relatively even positions with over $400,000 cash-on-hand each, but fundraising momentum rests with Nguyen. Furthermore, her office as a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors is a better perch from which to raise money than Solorio’s perch on the Rancho Santiago Community College Board.
(For the record, I am not related to Supervisor Janet Nguyen. The last name Nguyen is held by 36% of Vietnamese people.)