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Huffman takes early lead in money race

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, has raised more than $270,000 in his bid for the North Bay congressional seat, twice as much as fellow Democrat Norman Solomon.

Huffman said he raised $27,000 in the first 24 hours of an online fund-raising appeal launched after Rep. Lynn Woolsey's announcement on June 27 that she will retire next year after serving 20 years in Congress.

Huffman, who is termed out of his North Bay Assembly seat in 2012, said in a written statement that he was "energized by the outpouring of support I've received in recent weeks."

Huffman has received $250,823 from 900 individuals and $20,453 from political action committees, most of them created to back candidates in other races, according to Federal Election Commission records. His largest PAC donation was $5,000 from the Carpenters Legislative Improvement Committee.

Solomon, a Marin County political activist and author, reported $130,597 in donations, with most of it from more than 1,100 individuals, he said. He reported $600 from unspecified political action committee sources.

"We're in a strong position now for our long-term fund-raising," Solomon said in a written statement. "It's a very healthy ecology of campaign finance, compared to how traditional campaigns rely on a small number of wealthier donors."

A third Democrat, Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams, reported $6,270 in donations. Adams officially announced her candidacy two weeks ago.

The latest campaign finance reports cover donations and expenditures through June 30. Huffman, Solomon and Adams were the only candidates for the North Bay congressional seat to file a report.

The race for an open congressional seat is expected to draw a large field, and both Huffman and Solomon have said it could cost $1 million to win.

The three announced candidates will try to "lock in" most of the campaign money, putting pressure on anyone else contemplating a run, said David McCuan, a Sonoma State University political scientist.

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