Bry Leading Gloria In San Diego Mayoral Campaign Fundraising
Campaign fundraising reports released Friday show the Democrat-on-Democrat race for San Diego mayor is more competitive than it appeared to be in the aftermath of the March primary.
State Assemblyman Todd Gloria finished the primary with just over 41% of the vote tally compared to City Councilmember Barbara Bry's 23%. Councilmember Scott Sherman finished in third, fewer than 1,200 votes behind Bry.
Financial disclosures filed last week, however, show Bry dominating the race for campaign cash, raising more than $681,000 from mid-February through the end of June. That includes $150,000 of Bry's own money that she gave or loaned her campaign in that time period.
Gloria raised more than $289,000 during the same disclosure period. In a campaign press release, he suggested the more modest sum was attributable to the tough economic situation facing many of his supporters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is a difficult financial time for people in our city," Gloria said. "We had donations as small as one dollar. I’m grateful for every person who is supporting my campaign, including the people who need to focus on making ends meet for their families right now."
Gloria's campaign was still ahead in terms of cash on hand as of June 30, with $424,280.69 in the bank compared to Bry's $343,373.26.
The pandemic has not just hurt many would-be donors pocketbooks — it has also prevented candidates from hosting in-person fundraisers, which can pull in some of the biggest contributions.
Gloria has always had something of a fundraising disadvantage compared to Bry, UCSD political science professor Thad Kousser said.
"Todd Gloria's political base is just not as affluent as Barbara Bry's," he said. "The fact that she's actually outraised Todd Gloria in this fundraising period shows that she's getting strong support and will have the resources that she needs to fight it out in the general election."
Kousser added that independent expenditure committees — also called "super PACs" — often play a big role in mayoral elections and that it is still unclear how much local interest groups will spend in the race through those committees.
Gloria has received the endorsement of two of the biggest such groups: the San Diego & Imperial Counties Labor Council and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The conservative Lincoln Club has not endorsed either candidate.