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Rohrabacher Challenger Keirstead Outraises Rouda in Third Quarter

Stem cell researcher’s haul is slightly less than incumbent’s

Dr. Hans Keirstead is an expert in stem cell research and CEO of the biomedical company of AIVITA. (UC-Irvine News via Youtube)
Dr. Hans Keirstead is an expert in stem cell research and CEO of the biomedical company of AIVITA. (UC-Irvine News via Youtube)

Democratic House candidate Hans Keirstead outraised his Democratic opponents and slightly trailed Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who he is hoping to unseat.

Keirstead, a stem-cell scientist, raised $330,937.24 in total receipts, according to his October quarterly filing with the Federal Election Commission.

Comparatively, Harley Rouda, another Democrat competing the race, brought in $282,272.61 in total receipts, including a loan to himself of $175,000, according to his October quarterly filing. Keirstead also loaned himself $50,000.

In the previous quarter, Keirstead’s first, he raised $138,504.29 and Rouda raised $104,077.96, making this the second consecutive quarter Keirstead outpaced Rouda.

Still, both candidates trail Rohrabacher, who raised $347,639.81 in that third quarter. 

Rohrabacher also holds a significant advantage over the two in cash on hand, holding $600,000 on hand. Keirstead has $302,033.69 and Rouda has $372,577.59.

Rohrabacher has been in office since 1989 and is a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan.

Rohrabacher has faced criticisms for his meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and saying Russia was not involved in the leaking of emails from the Democratic National Committee.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting Rohrabacher after he won with only 58 percent of the vote in 2016 and his district broke for Hillary Clinton.

Both Keirstead and Rouda were listed as candidates to watch by the New Democrat Coalition’s political action committee.

Keirstead was also endorsed by 314 Action, which is dedicated to electing scientists to Congress.

“Democrats and Republicans agree that Dr. Hans Keirstead is the Democratic primary frontrunner and the strongest candidate to take Dana Rohrabacher in 2018,” Keirstead campaign manager Kyle Quinn-Quesada said in a statement.

In California’s primary system, the top two finishers face each other in the general election regardless of political party.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Tilt Republican

Update 3:49| The story has been updated to show that Keirstead loaned himself money as well. 

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