California youngster running for Congress raises $420,000 in first round

If the elections were held today, Ricky Gill would be too young to serve in Congress, but the 24-year-old Republican running to represent California's 11th congressional district already raised nearly half a million dollars in preparation for Election Day 2012.

Gill will turn 25--the youngest age the Constitution allows for members of the House--before the election next year, and has raised $420,000 since announcing his candidacy in May, according to his campaign. If elected, Gill, who is still in law school at the University of California, Berkeley, would be the youngest member in the chamber.

"Just 44 days after announcing our candidacy on May 17th, this campaign will report to the Federal Election Commission that we raised over $420,000 in donations, all from individuals like you," Gill wrote in a letter to supporters. "Unlike other campaigns, we didn't take out any loans to inflate this figure, and we didn't receive any contributions from PACs."

The Federal Election Commission requires all candidates for federal office to unveil their earnings quarterly. This was Gill's first filing with the agency.

The campaign reports that it has more than $400,000 of the total still in hand, with the contributions all coming from 730 individual donors.

The district, held by Democratic incumbent Rep. Jerry McNerney since 2007, represents San Joaquin County in Northern California, but could be subject to redistricting when the state legislature redraws the map before 2012, leaving the field wide open.

A spokesman from McNerney's office declined to comment when asked about this quarter's fund raising numbers.