10:00 PM PDT on Monday, July 18, 2011
By BEN GOAD
WASHINGTON – Inland Southern California’s congressional incumbents are busy amassing their war chests for a 2012 election season filled with uncertainty, federal campaign finance reports show.
Most of the region’s five House members are well ahead of their fundraising totals at this point in the last cycle. The reports, filed with the Federal Election Commission, come as the state’s redistricting panel works to finalize new political lines that will change the makeup of each of California’s 53 congressional districts.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission has released draft maps, giving incumbents an idea of how their districts might change. But the maps are subject to change.
Rep. Darrell Issa led the region’s House delegation, collecting more than $325,000 between April 1 and the end of June, the reports show. During the same period two years ago, Issa took in just over $176,000. He now has $728,796 on hand, or roughly three times his July 2009 total.
Much of that largesse can be attributed to Issa’s role as chairman of the House Oversight Committee, a position that has raised his national profile. Issa, who now represents much of southwestern Riverside County, has said he would run for a proposed San Diego County-Orange County district if the draft maps put forth by the commission remain intact.
Veteran Rep. Jerry Lewis has not said whether he would seek an 18th term. But, at more than $126,000, his fundraising total for the past three months was four times higher than what he collected during the same period in 2009, sending a strong signal that the Redlands Republican is eyeing a run at one of two proposed San Bernardino County districts that would include a portion of his hometown.
Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, bested her 2009 second-quarter total by about $23,000, raking in almost $190,000.
At just over $242,000, Rep. Ken Calvert’s total was second among the region’s representatives, but well short of the $403,000 he posted during the same stretch two years ago. Calvert, R-Corona, is angling toward a run at a proposed district that would include most of his hometown, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore and Norco.
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