In October, even as Republican Mike Stoker was campaigning vigorously and proclaiming that the 35th Assembly District race in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties could be competitive, Democrat Das Williams was confident enough of victory that he contributed $78,500 to other candidates and to the state Democratic Party.
Final campaign finance reports on state races were filed this week, and they show that Williams during that final month of the campaign contributed $57,000 to the state Democratic Party, $3,900 each to the campaigns of five other legislative Democrats around the state, $1,500 to the United Farm Workers PAC and a combined $750 to two local candidates, including Oxnard Harbor District Commissioner Jason Hodge.
During that same month, Stoker took in $60,000 from the state Republican Party. In addition, the Ventura County Republican Party chipped in $28,000 on Nov. 22, after the race was over.
During all of 2010, the two candidates in the area's most expensive legislative race combined to spend $1.6 million -- $1.2 million by Williams (most of it in his contested primary race) and $400,000 by Stoker.
Williams may have had a nervous moment or two at the end, however. Between Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, he received $45,000 in contributions from two county Democratic committees (Sacramento and Stanislaus), perhaps indicating that those last-minute independent expenditures by business groups on behalf of Stoker made him think twice about the money he had given to the state Democratic Party early in October.