Republican challenger Ricky Gill has raised nearly $1 million in contributions and his own money in his battle to wrest the 9th Congressional District seat from Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton.
In documents submitted to the Federal Election Commission, Gill, who was born and raised in Lodi, reported raising $957,031.76 in 2011, compared with $1,209,651.98 for McNerney. Republican candidate John McDonald of Mountain House trails with $52,549.69 in contributions and loans.
In what political observers consider a more important financial figure, Gill leads in the category "cash at hand" — how much a candidate has after paying bills.
Gill reports having $837,617.67 at his disposal as of Dec. 31, while McNerney reports having $730,339.54 and McDonald $28,707.56.
The campaign disclosure statements show that Gill has more contributions from individuals in the newly created 9th Congressional District, while McNerney's money is coming from outside the district and from political action committees, according to Gill campaign spokesman Colin Hunter.
McNerney spokeswoman Lauren Smith said that McNerney has received contributions from more people than the Federal Election Commission filing shows. People who contribute $200 or less to a candidate aren't listed in the filings, according to FEC rules, Smith said.
Additionally, Smith said, Gill has less money available than McNerney if Gill's loans from his own pocketbook are not counted.
The importance of raising campaign money, she said, is having the money to purchase TV and newspaper advertising, campaign materials to mail to voters and other expenses.
McNerney, who has represented most of San Joaquin County and parts of the Livermore Valley for five years, announced last year that he plans to move to San Joaquin County and seek the newly created 9th District seat, which includes Lodi and Galt.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at email@example.com.