If money rules -- and it sometimes doesn't -- in the free-for-alls for two open Sacramento City Council seats, then it's pretty clear which two candidates from each district will advance from the June 5 primary to the Nov. 6 runoff.
In District 2, where Sandy Sheedy is stepping down, developer Allen Warren leads the way. He has raised $113,000 and spent $110,000 so far and reported $37,000 in the bank as of mid-May.
Former councilman Rob Kerth is in second place, raising $83,000, spending $59,000 and having $48,000 in hand.
In District 4, where Rob Fong is stepping aside, attorney and nonprofit director Phyllis Newton reported raising $111,000 and spending $120,000. She had $35,000 in cash as of mid-May. She's also benefiting from the efforts of the Better Sacramento Political Action Committee, a group of business leaders and developers that reported spending more than $15,000 on her behalf.
In second place is Genentech manager Steve Hansen, who has raised $76,000 and spent more than $87,000. He reported having $47,000 for the stretch run.
The candidates had to file their campaign finance reports this week covering the period of March 18 to May 19. They will be the most complete reports before June 5.
While campaign fund-raising doesn't necessarily determine the winners, it does give a good indication of the level of support a candidate has and it shows how many signs they can put up and mailers they can send out. Given their resumes and other strengths, it would not be a surprise if they were the ones who emerge out of the crowded fields.