Rep. Dr. Raul Ruiz (D-36) was elected just 10 months ago. But the race for the 2014 election has already begun. Raising money to finance campaigns has become a full-time occupation for elected officials and those who wish they were.
Through June 30, Ruiz has raised $763,000. More than half came from individual contributions. Political committees representing various medical associations have been significant contributors to Ruiz’s future campaigns.
For example, American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Hospital Association each gave $5,000. Also, the American Academy of Family Physicians Political Action Committee, American Association of Neurological Surgeons PAC, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons PAC, American College of Radiology, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Information Association PAC, American Pharmacists Association PAC and the American Urological Association gave $2,500 each.
At the end of September 2011, Ruiz had just about $50,000 in cash. Now he has more than 10 times that amount and it will grow next year. Former Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, at the same point, had $435,000 in cash.
Despite his early fundraising success, Ruiz will have competition for a district that many pundits consider leaning Republican. State Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R-42) represents nearby cities such as Hemet to Palm Springs and Palm Desert. Before the redistricting, he represented Idyllwild and the Hill, too. Being first elected in 2008, his six years in the Assembly prevents him from seeking re-election.
He is developing a team to challenge Ruiz next year. Thus far he has raised $145,000 for the race. Nearly 80 percent is from individual contributions.
2014 Congressional District 36 race
Campaign contributions and cash as of June 30, 2013
Individual Committee Total Cash
Ruiz $403,200 $312,000 $629,400
Nestande $121,300 $23,587 $135,900