BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The 2022 primary election is more than one year away, but Kern Congressmembers and their potential opponents already are raising money for their respective campaigns.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) is focused on his own campaign in Kern County, but has a larger goal for the GOP to take back the House of Representatives in 2022.
“We’re going to get the majority back. We’re 5 seats away,” he said during a panel discussion at at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) earlier this year. “I will bet my house…My personal house. Don’t tell my wife but I would bet it.”
That effort, according to the filings from the Federal Election Commission, has already started. During the first quarter of 2021 between Jan. 1-March 31, McCarthy’s “Take Back the House 2022” PAC raised more than $21 Million. $11 Million of those funds already has been distributed to GOP candidates across the country.
As for his own campaign in Kern County, McCarthy has raised more than $2.9 million so far, per official FEC filings. Bakersfield Democrat Bruno Amato, McCarthy’s only opposing candidate so far, raised, $113,855.43 during the first quarter.
“With the base, I think Kevin McCarthy is popular,” said CSU Bakersfield Political Science Professor Ivy Cargile, noting McCarthy’s meetings with former President Donald J. Trump have helped McCarthy fundraise among the Republican base.
“I think the fact that he still goes to Mara Lago to Court Trump is an indicator he’s with Trump and so therefore it allows him to fundraise as much as he’s fundraised,” Cargile said.
Republican Congressman David Valadao was one of just 10 GOP members of Congress to vote to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol , but the Hanford Republican continues to bring in money. During the first quarter of 2021, he raised $321,287.59.
Democratic opponent and former Assemblymember Nicole Parra raised just under $31,000 in the first three months of 2021, and Republican opponent former Fresno Councilmember Chris Mathys raised $106,831.00.
“In terms of Valadao, I know some Republicans — particularly the Trump supporters — are not happy with him because he voted to impeach. But in his district, Valadao seems to be doing OK,” Cargile continued.
Friday marked 403 days until Primary Election Day — June 7th, 2022.