ALAMEDA, Calif. — California Treasurer Bill Lockyer has spent more money this year trying to elect his wife to a new job than he has spent on his own re-election campaign.
In the first six months of 2010, the Lockyer for Treasurer 2010 committee contributed $530,000 to wife Nadia Lockyer’s campaign for a seat on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, out of $1.04 million spent overall, according to campaign finance reports filed with the secretary of state.
Candidates were required to file reports last week detailing activity through June 30.
Nadia Lockyer, 39, is battling former state lawmaker Liz Figueroa for the Board of Supervisors seat. When she was in her 20s, she won a school board seat in Santa Ana in Orange County, but this is her first run for elected office in Alameda County.
The 69-year-old state treasurer has so far experienced a much easier election cycle than his wife. He had no opposition in the Democratic primary.
Nadia Lockyer was one of four candidates in the primary for the county supervisors’ seat, which is organized on a nonpartisan basis. She led the field, with more than 39% of the vote, placing her in a November runoff against Figueroa, a former state lawmaker, who won Bill Lockyer’s state senate seat in 1998 when term limits forced him out.
Bill Lockyer’s campaign reported raising $163,000 in the first half of the year, but he is still sitting on most of the campaign war chest he collected while contemplating a run for governor in 2006. His campaign had more than $8.5 million remaining as of June 30, the report said.
Lockyer opted out of the governor’s race in 2006, and spent very little to win the treasurer’s office. He had high name recognition after two terms as attorney general, and Republican opponent Claude Parrish barely mounted a campaign.
This year Republicans have nominated state Sen. Mimi Walters to run for treasurer.
Walters’ campaign reported raising $511,000 through June 30, with almost $350,000 in the bank.
The race for controller will be a rematch of 2006, with incumbent John Chiang, a Democrat, facing Republican state Sen. Tony Strickland.
Chiang reported having more than $1.27 million in the bank as of June 30. Strickland reported raising $540,000 in the first six months of the year, with $308,000 remaining on June 30.
It may be hard for candidates in any of the lower-ticket statewide races to gain much notice from the voting public given the vast sums being spent on the governor’s race this year.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, former eBay chief executive, has contributed more than $90 million to her own campaign, and has promised to spend much more. After outspending opponent Steve Poizner to win the GOP primary, Whitman’s campaign reported $10 million in remaining cash as of June 30.
Attorney General Jerry Brown, the Democratic candidate for governor, had $23 million in cash on hand in his campaign account on June 30, the finance reports said.