The semi-annual campaign fund-raising reports for political candidates must be submitted at the end of the month, but a late contribution report filed last week by Republican Senate candidate Tony Strickland gives a significant preview of coming attractions.
On June 30 -- the final day of the reporting period -- the state Republican Party contributed $595,000 to the Strickland campaign. On the same day, the Monterey County Republican Central Committee chipped in $15,000.
In addition, a press release from the Strickland campaign reported that the former Assemblyman's Westlake Village fund-raiser featuring former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney brought in about $250,000.
Add it all together, and Strickland's total fund-raising through June 30 could approach $3 million.
Meanwhile, the state Democratic Party has been slow to begin committing money to legislative candidates, including the party's nominee in the 19th Senate District, former Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson.
Bottom line: Expect the July 31 reports to show Strickland with an impressive bank account and a significant lead over Jackson in campaign cash. The gap will almost certainly tighten as the campaign unfolds, but Strickland's early money gives him in advantage in planning and executing his strategy.