Steve Knight

Rep. Steve Knight (shown at right in 2014, when he was in the state Legislature, with State Sens. Andy Vidak, left, and Jerry Hill) has raised $432,640 as of June 30, much more than his three Democratic challengers. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

By Jean Merl
July 16, 2015

The elections are more than a year away, but already, front-runners are emerging in some key California congressional contests, and most endangered incumbents are well ahead of their challengers in fundraising, campaign filings show.

Early fundraising can be a barometer of a candidate’s strength or vulnerability, and money raised soon after the start of a campaign — though it might not be spent for many months — can attract more donors and discourage competitors.

GOP allies of Rep. Stephen Knight (R-Palmdale) have stepped up to fill his coffers, which had been nearly empty, as other vulnerable House members also raked in significant contributions.

Knight’s lackluster fundraising during the first part of the year — he collected less than $41,000 between the November 2014 election and March 31 — added to the perception that his quickly changing north Los Angeles County district could be won by a Democrat.

But he had a total of $432,640, more than half of it from Republican allies such as Rep. Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, the House majority leader, by June 30, according to the filings with the federal government. That total far exceeds what any of his three Democratic challengers have raised.

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