During the third quarter of 2014, contributions to Assemblyman Brian Nestande’s (R) campaign for California’s 36th Congressional seat were the most he has received in one quarter since formally entering the race to unseat incumbent Congressman Dr. Paul Ruiz (D).

However, Ruiz still maintains an overwhelming lead in the cash-available category. As of June 30, the first-term congressman had more than $1.9 million available to defend his seat, while Nestande had $234,000 available.

Nestande’s nearly invisible race against fellow Republican Ray Haynes required him to expend nearly $350,000 during the weeks leading up to the California primary on June 3. Ruiz, comfortable that he would be the leading vote getter in the top-two primary, spent only $145,000 in the third quarter.

Most of Ruiz’s expenses for payroll included a polling consultant at the beginning of April for $21,000, several thousand for campaign fundraising consultants but nothing else larger than $5,000.

Nestande, on the other hand, had 13 disbursements greater than $10,000 mostly for a television ad and mass mailers before the primary.

Haynes reported only two campaign contributions as of the end of June, one of which was a $13,400 personal loan.

As of June 30, Ruiz had received more than 2,200 separate contributions; however, individual contributors may have given multiple times. His total contributions from individuals exceeded $1.5 million, of which about 47.2 percent (288 separate contributions) were for more than $2,000 each.

Nestande had 726 individual contributions, but multiple contributions from several contributors. For example, David Cooper, a certified public accountant in Rancho Mirage, has given $250 three times. Nestande’s contributions have ranged from $2,600 to $10. Since he began raising funds for the campaign, he has received 151 contributions for more than $2,000, representing 57 percent of his individual contributions.

Nearly 70 percent of Ruiz’s benefactors are Californians and they have contributed about 62 percent of his funding. He has received one contribution from Idyllwild for $250.

Another $823,000, almost a third of his total, came from political committees, many related to medical specialties such as the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Hospital Association.

Various political committees have given Nestande $145,300 through the end of June.



2014 Congressional District 36

Campaign contributions and cash as of June 30, 2014

Contributions this quarter

Individual, Committee, Total cash available


Ruiz $340,900, $190,000, $1,908,424

Nestande $172,900, $86,500, $234,631

Haynes $17,900, $0, $0