The politically ambitious daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney has joined the fray in two increasingly expensive San Joaquin Valley congressional races.
Amid a flurry of last minute fundraising, Reps. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock, and David Valadao, R-Hanford, both reported receiving $1,000 contributions on Oct. 31 from Wyoming congressional candidate Liz Cheney. The 50-year-old attorney is the eldest daughter of the ex-vice president.
Cheney’s contributions were part of the $59,323 raised by Denham and $48,795 raised by Valadao on Halloween and a slice of Nov. 1, new Federal Election Commission filings show.
Adding to their already well-endowed campaign warchests, both Republicans’ fundraising helped maintained their financial leads over their respective challengers.
$967,194,502. Total raised by House candidates 2015-2016.
Valadao’s Democratic opponent, Bakersfield attorney Emilio J. Huerta, most recently reported raising $12,200 on Oct. 28. Denham’s Democratic opponent, farmer and beekeeper Michael Eggman, most recently reported raising $8,200 on Oct. 29.
“We are currently spending down to zero to fight off the scare tactics and lies from the other side,” Eggman’s campaign declared in an Oct. 30 fundraising e-mail, adding that “even a donation of $10 will go a long way.”
The last-minute contributions, now being reported on a near-daily basis to the FEC, do more than pay for ads, signs and other campaign elements in Denham’s 10th Congressional District and Valadao’s 21st Congressional District. They also underscore the seriousness with which political operators are viewing the Valley races; and some, like Cheney’s, illustrate some lessons in practical politics.
A one-time Fox News Channel commentator and State Department political appointee, Cheney moved back to Wyoming initially to challenge a fellow Republican serving in the Senate before she opted to wait for an open House seat. With no serious opposition in the GOP-dominated state, she can use her own campaign surplus to start building relationships with her future colleagues.
While Cheney used her own funds to contribute to Denham and Valadao, many House members set up leadership political action committees. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, has distributed $133,500 to Republicans through his New PAC this year, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has contributed $1.3 million through his Majority Committee PAC.