Lieu out early in Calif. AG fundraising race

Legal News Line Feb. 4, 2009, 5:26pm

Ted Lieu (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) - California Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, announced he has raised nearly $1 million for his bid to become the state's next attorney general in 2010.

Lieu's attorney general campaign account also has more than $350,000 cash on hand. Both amounts outpace other potential Democratic candidates, according to the latest figures from the secretary of state.

Lieu's early fundraising prowess will serve to help separate him from the long list of possible competitors. Though he lacks the name recognition of San Francisco City Attorney Kamala Harris, an early supporter of President Barack Obama, he is an Air Force veteran and would most likely be the only Chinese-American in the race.

Harris raised just $119,000 in 2008, most of which remains on hand. Harris, however, has benefited from recent large contributions by Bay Area contributors who heavily backed President Barack Obama.

Former Assemblyman Joe Canciamillia, who first announced his intention to run last summer, has yet to raise any money, though his campaign account has slightly more than $300,000 cash on hand.

Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who is exploring a bid to join the race, raised under $50,000 with less than $100,000 cash on hand.

Santa Barbara Assemblyman Pedro Nava has not announced his intentions to run, though he opened an attorney general campaign account on Monday. Nava is in his final term in the Legislature and has raised $344,615 in 2008, with just under $200,000 on hand.

Rumors continue to swirl around Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Chris Kelly leaving the private sector to run for attorney general, though he has not formed a committee to raise money.

Facebook officials and Kelly refused to comment when asked by several media outlets if he plans to run. If Kelly does enter the race, he'd have substantial financial resources available to fund his campaign.

On Tuesday, Lieu again stated that he would not run for attorney general if Attorney General Jerry Brown decides to seek re-election, though it is all but a foregone conclusion that Brown will run for governor in 2010. Harris and Canciamilla have also said they will not formally announce until Brown makes his intentions known.

On the Republican side of the aisle, only state Sen. Tom Harman, R-Huntington Beach, has filed to run. His campaign account has more than $200,000 on hand. His 2008 fundraising topped $350,000.

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