MODESTO -- Nearly $12 million is being spent to sway voters in the 10th Congressional District, but little of it came from local donors and even less of it is being spent here.
The high-stakes race between Republican Rep. Jeff Denham and Democrat Jose Hernandez is being bankrolled almost entirely by out-of-region political groups and contributors. (See links to databases below>
Only about 3 percent of the contributions have come from within the district. And just 2 percent of the campaign money has been spent locally.
The newly formed district includes all of Stanislaus County, plus Escalon, Ripon, Manteca and Tracy.
But the campaigns are being run almost exclusively by out-of-town political pros.
Recently filed campaign finance disclosures reveal the overwhelming presence of outsider money and spending.
Independent political action committees have dumped about $8.2 million into the race, almost all of it going toward advertising on Sacramento TV stations. Those PACs don't have to reveal where their money comes from, but none of them are based in the 10th District.
Candidates, however, are required to document where they get their campaign donations and how they spend that money. The Federal Election Commission makes it pretty easy to analyze that financial data.
As of the last reporting deadline, Denham had collected more than $2.3 million. Only about $286,000 of that is listed as having come from donors within the 10th District.
But to be fair, Denham represents the 19th District, which spreads across five valley and foothill counties. Many of his donors are from that region.
Denham, a Turlock Republican, has collected significant donations from outside California, however, including about $470,000 from donors and political groups in the greater Washington, D.C., region.
Only about $110,000 of what Denham's campaign has reported spending went to people, businesses or services within the 10th District.
Hernandez, a Manteca Democrat, collected and spent even less locally. Of the $1.5 million contributed to Hernandez's campaign, less than $87,000 is listed as coming from within the 10th District.
Hernandez has received four times that much about $349,000 from the greater Washington region.
Hernandez also has been more popular with Texas donors and their PACs, which have given nearly $129,000 to his campaign. Hernandez lived for many years in Houston while he was part of the space program.
San Franciscans have been generous to Hernandez, too, contributing about $40,000 to his election efforts.
When it comes to spending, Denham and Hernandez have spent most of their money outside the region.
Only about $110,000 of Denham's more than $2 million in expenditures have gone to local companies. Denham spent more than that in the Washington area, and in several other California cities, including Santa Ana and Rocklin.
Hernandez spent about $152,000 locally, but more than half of that went to out-of-state staff members who temporarily moved to Modesto to run his campaign.
Bee staff writer J.N. Sbranti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2196.
See links to selected databases
Denham individual contributors
Denham PAC contributors
Hernandez individual contributors
Hernandez PAC contributors