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Riverside County Congress Candidate Aja Smith Leads The Nation In Small Donations In Race To Unseat Rep. Mark Takano

Air Force Veteran Raises Over $170,000 In Bid To Be The First Black Republican Woman Elected To The House of Representatives From California.

(RIVERSIDE) Southern California Congressional candidate Sgt. Aja Smith announced today that her campaign has received the highest percentage of small dollar donations in the nation.


Typically candidates that campaign on attracting small donors and rejecting PAC money, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) do well in this metric. (AOC ranked 5th this quarter.) The same goes for some high-profile members, such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) who raised millions from small donors in 2018 after gaining exposure as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“Voters in Riverside County want China held accountable, they want our police respected and they want our representative focused on the district - not the next political stunt,” said Moreno Valley native and Air Force veteran Sgt. Aja Smith.

“My opponent demonizes anyone who says the words ‘Chinese virus’ as racist, demonizes our police as ‘systemically racist,’ but Takano says nothing when the Virginia Governor or Canadian Prime Minister appear in black-face or when Joe Biden declares “you ain’t black” if you don’t vote for him. Riverside County voters are sick of these partisan games meant to divide us. The fact that we are leading the nation in small donor contributions I think is a reflection of that fatigue by voters.”

According to, safe incumbents and lower-profile candidates that fly under the radar, often get very little from small individual donors and rely more on individuals giving large contributions and PACs. This makes Sgt. Aja Smith’s achievement of topping the list even more newsworthy, since most pundits would put her in the ‘lower-profile candidates that fly under the radar’ category.

The link below shows House and Senate candidates that are the most popular among individual donors giving small amounts. This comprehensive list reveals the percentage of campaign money every candidate gets from individuals contributing a total of $200 or less:

The 41st Congressional District in western Riverside County includes the cities of Moreno Valley, Perris, and Riverside, located in the Inland Empire region of Southern California. To learn more about lifelong Moreno Valley native, Sgt. Aja Smith and her campaign to be the first black Republican woman elected to Congress from California, please visit:

For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 23, 2020

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