Bry more than doubles Gloria’s fundraising total for San Diego mayoral race
San Diego mayoral candidate Barbara Bry more than doubled rival Todd Gloria’s recent campaign donations, a margin that Bry’s campaign is calling a significant momentum shift.
Gloria’s campaign officials noted that much of Bry’s campaign haul for the November election was contributed by the candidate herself, and the state assemblyman still had more cash on hand than Bry, a City Council member.
Half of the 10 runoffs since 1971 have gone to candidates who took second in that year’s primary
Bry — who represents council District 1 and lives in La Jolla — raised $642,000 between Feb. 16 and June 30, while Gloria — whose 78th Assembly District includes Pacific Beach — raised $289,000 during the same period.
Bry contributed $110,000 of the money she raised, and she had $81,000 less cash available than fellow Democrat Gloria — $343,000 vs. $424,000.
Bry’s campaign says her fundraising results show a remarkable shift in momentum in the race. Gloria took first place in the March primary by more than 66,000 votes.
The fundraising results come despite significant hurdles, including Bry being unsure she had secured second place in the primary until the San Diego County registrar of voters office slowly counted thousands of remaining ballots throughout March.
“Keep in mind that Barbara’s campaign couldn’t begin raising funds for the general election until early April because we didn’t know if Barbara had qualified for the runoff,” Bry consultant Tom Shepard said Aug. 3 in an email to supporters.
Gloria consultant Jen Tierney said the campaign disclosures show the candidates raised roughly the same amount in March.
“This idea that Todd was beating the bushes in March is just not true,” Tierney said.
Shepard also noted that Gloria was socking away money for the runoff early this year after a variety of polls showed he was essentially guaranteed a spot on the November ballot.
“Consider our opponent’s advantage as the front-runner, already aggressively soliciting funds for the runoff during the primary, confident he would qualify for the November general election,” Shepard said.
Tierney agreed that Bry’s fundraising results show she is a viable candidate, but she contended Bry’s campaign has been primarily responsible for the underdog narrative in the race.
“She’s tried to play herself as the underdog all along, but she’s always been wealthy, she’s always been in office and she’s always been a good fundraiser,” Tierney said.
In addition to serving on the council since 2016, Bry is a longtime high-tech entrepreneur.
Shepard said Gloria’s relatively weak donation total could “reflect his lack of local community support.”
In response, Tierney noted that roughly $250,000 of Bry’s donations come from her neighbors in La Jolla. Tierney said a careful look at Bry’s donations shows she is receiving a significant amount of support from Republicans.
“I think Barbara has become the de facto Republican in this race,” Tierney said. “That’s the lane she’s moved into. She’s moved to the right, and there is money on the right.”
Shepard said Bry has received “many, many, many contributions from Democrats and independent voters.”
He also said Gloria is appealing to a small section of the electorate, while Bry is trying to appeal to the whole city, which he contended should be a priority for a mayoral candidate.
Gloria has been endorsed by the county Democratic Party and most of the region’s labor unions.
Shepard said further evidence of momentum for Bry is a recent poll by the conservative Lincoln Club showing the runoff is essentially a toss-up.
Tierney said a separate poll commissioned by Gloria’s campaign shows him with a 15-point lead.
Voting is scheduled for Nov. 3.