HomeTop StoriesSteve Garvey raises millions – and pays for it

Steve Garvey raises millions – and pays for it

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Steve Garvey, the former baseball superstar turned Republican candidate, has managed to raise millions in recent weeks for his long-running bid for California’s open Senate seat — and it’s costing him big time.

Garvey raised $3.4 million from mid-February to the end of March, and as federal filings show, it cost him more than $1 million to do so, in addition to digital advertising, direct mail, commission fees and location costs.

Even with his improved numbers — his best performance yet, leaving him with $1.6 million in cash — Garvey faces an incredibly steep climb to win the seat previously held by the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Republicans haven’t won a statewide race in California since 2006, and breaking that streak would be an achievement, even for a celebrity.

He also faces a major disadvantage if he runs against Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who has millions to burn in the general election where he is expected to coast to victory. Garvey benefited from millions of dollars in negative Schiff TV ads before the March 5 primary — a boost he likely won’t get in the general election.

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The latest report showed that Schiff raked in $3.7 million over a six-week period, which covered the weeks leading up to the primaries and through March 31. At the end of March, he had $4.8 million in cash.

Garvey has built his campaign around “common sense” and “consensus,” while steering clear of specific policy proposals. Despite his celebrity status, he has reported no endorsements or donations from big names, instead building his war chest from small-dollar supporters — many of them out-of-state, from places like Florida, Arizona and Texas.

He has had to build his campaign “from the ground up,” manager Andy Gharakhani said in a statement Monday when asked about his fundraising spending. Garvey collected an average donation of $57 from 62,000 individuals in the first quarter of 2024.

“Steve’s investment in campaign infrastructure will give him the resources he needs to win in November,” Gharakhani said.

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