Newsom taps small donors. Cox wins retirees

Democrat Gavin Newsom tapped a rich vein of small-dollar donors as he vastly outraised Republican John Cox in the race for governor, the latest campaign finance reports show.

Newsom collected almost $1.8 million from people who gave $500 or less and nearly half of his 21,396 separate donations through June 30 were for less than $100. CALmatters Laurel Rosenhall detailed the small donor trend in this recent story.

Cox, a wealthy businessman who is helping to fund his campaign, received 1,627 donations of less than $100 and a total of $634,646 from people who gave $500 or less.

Cox is beating Newsom in one category: donors who list their occupation as retired. He received $676,409 from 3,005 retirees compared with Newsom’s $634,540 from 769 self-identified retirees.

Why it matters: A relatively small number give the maximum donation allowed under state law, $29,000. But candidates can return multiple times to people who give small sums. Those small donors help fuel campaigns, particularly on the national level.

P.S. Newsom ended June with $11.1 million in his campaign account, compared with Cox’s $1.46 million, a total puffed up by $500,000 of Cox’s own wealth delivered on the last day of June. Since July 1, Newsom has raised at least $767,700, compared with Cox’s $197,500.

This story originally appeared in WhatMatters, our daily roundup of the most important policy and politics news in California. Subscribe here.

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