On May 23, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher transferred $50,000 from her campaign account to the Democratic Party.
That same day, the party spent $50,000 on behalf of Nathan Fletcher’s campaign for county supervisor.
The party and Nathan Fletcher, who is married to Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, may coordinate how that money is spent. But Gonzalez Fletcher can’t legally earmark her donation to support any candidate.
She said she did not. But also, she didn’t have to. The San Diego County Democratic Party, she said, has been very clear for months about its strategic priorities. Its highest priorities were winning the county races, including the one her husband has put everything on the line to win.
“I’m excited to be able to have plenty of money to give for that purpose. When I was with labor, we tried hard to make the county races a priority for the party and we never could. I have money and I can put it there,” she said. In total, as of May 23, she had transferred $205,000 from her campaign to the local Democratic Party for this election. On Friday, she put in another $150,000 making it a total of $355,000 she had handed over to the party.
Other members of the state Assembly and Senate have transferred money from their campaigns to the party, but nothing close to that amount. As of May 19, Assemblyman Todd Gloria had given the party $9,000 and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins gave $16,000
The Democratic Party has spent more than $680,000 to help Nathan Fletcher’s campaign — including more than $188,000 in just the last week. (You can see review all the donations to the party as of May 19 here.) It is part of a major push to combat two waves of attacks coming at Fletcher from a union opposed to him and a conservative business group that has been open about wanting to end his political career for good.
The party can only spend money to market to registered Democrats. But party leaders are free to coordinate that effort with a candidate’s campaign. That means the candidate can focus his or her spending on reaching voters who don’t have a party preference or even people in another party.
On May 23, the party reported spending $65,000 on marketing for Fletcher.
We asked Fletcher’s campaign what that money went to.
“Advertising,” wrote campaign consultant Dan Rottenstreich.
Andrew Keatts contributed to this report.