More than $1 million in campaign donations and loans have gone to six of the seven candidates vying to represent the North Coast in Congress, with the primary election still eight months away.
Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, holds the fund-raising lead with $416,424 collected for the year through Sept. 30, according to the Federal Election Commission.
San Rafael businesswoman Stacey Lawson, who officially entered the race in August, was second in campaign receipts with $238,391, marginally ahead of Marin activist Norman Solomon with $221,422.
Huffman, who is termed out of the Assembly in 2012, came close to retaining the 2-to-1 fund-raising advantage he had over Solomon in July.
Both Huffman and Solomon announced their intention to run for the North Coast seat months before Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, confirmed her plans to retire next year after 20 years in Congress.
Lawson, a relative late-comer to the race, said she collected more than $238,000 in her first 60 days of fund-raising.
"It's a great beginning, but we're just getting started," said Lawson, who bills herself as "a non-traditional candidate" with a background in business and education.
Lawson founded InPart, a business software company, and subsequently developed multimillion-dollar business divisions for Parametric Technology Corp. and Siebel Systems.
She is also a co-founder of UC Berkeley's Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology.
Woolsey's retirement triggered a wide-open race in the newly created 2nd Congressional District, stretching from Marin County to the Oregon border, excluding Santa Rosa.
Lawson agreed with the earlier forecasts by Huffman and Solomon that it could cost a candidate $1 million or more to win the race, expressing confidence she could raise that much money.
Susan Adams, a Marin County supervisor, reported $85,094 in campaign receipts, followed by Dan Roberts of Tiburon, the lone Republican candidate, who reported a $50,000 personal loan to his own campaign.
Tiffany Renee, a Petaluma city councilwoman, had $8,645.
William L. Courtney, a Democrat from Mendocino County, reported no campaign cash, according to the federal commission.
The June 5 primary is a "top two" competition, with the two biggest vote-getters, regardless of political party, advancing to the November election.
-- Guy Kovner, The Press Democrat