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.
"The time to start running for 2012 was yesterday," he said.
Woolsey, who still had $58,695 in cash on hand at the end of 2010, has said she will not make an endorsement in the race.
According to the latest maps released by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, Woolsey's district will expand from a compact Sonoma-Marin territory to a coastal district from the tip of Marin County to the Oregon border, excluding Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park and Sonoma Valley.
The new districts, scheduled to be finalized in mid-August, will apply to the 2012 election.
Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, has not said whether he will run in the proposed coastal district or a newly carved inland district including Santa Rosa and Napa County, the latter his home base.
Thompson, a prolific fund-raiser, reported $414,284 in donations through June 30, with $1.2 million in cash on hand. No one has announced a challenge to Thompson.