Migden still leads campaign coffers

A week after being fined by the state campaign finance watchdog, state Sen. Carole Migden still held the edge over her competitors when it came to raising funds.

Assemblymember Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, and former Assemblymember Joe Nation of Marin County are attempting to knock Migden from her perch in the state Senate District 3 seat, which extends from eastern San Francisco to Sonoma and Petaluma, and all three are vying for the Democratic Party’s endorsement expected this weekend.

Migden, however, reported having raised nearly twice her closest competitor just days before the state Democratic Convention in San Jose.

The incumbent senator, Migden, enters the final 70 days before the June 3 Democratic primary with the most cash on hand, having received $125,639 in cash donations between January 1 and March 17 of this year.

Migden, however, was recently fined $350,000 by the Fair Political Practices Commission for 89 campaignfinance violations — the largest fine ever handed down to a state candidate — and she can pay the fines personally or with campaign dollars, political observers said.

Nation, who entered the race in February, raised $241,494 and spent $66,314 during the first 3½ months of the election year.

Leno, who represents the eastern portion of The City in the state Assembly, raised $142,737 in cash but spent $233,837 during the filing period.

Sonoma State politics professor David McCuan said now was a time for candidates to flex finance muscles, which Migden did. “If she can show a high level of funding, she can go to the convention and rattle the cages and get accompanying funds,” McCuan said.

dsmith@examiner.com

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